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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    August 21, 2013
    10:00 - 2:01pm EDT  

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markets. we, our markets function by rule of law, so that helps having the accountability, have the certainty of enforcement actions helps make sure that there's full compliance and generates the kind of behaviors that we want to see in our financial system. when you have enforcement actions because there's political pressure to do it, you know, that troubles me too. so i wish we would have had earlier energy about this and more consistency on the kind of cases we're bringing, the kind of behaviors we're targeting and, you know, if, you know, if s&p's doing something and moody's is doing something, too, why isn't there consistency in the enforcement? so i do worry that when enforcement actions can become in response to political pressure or perhaps other reasons, that you lose the benefit of enforcement which is accountability and changing behavior. so i, i shouldn't be so negative. the positive spin is, you know, at long last we have some good
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enforcement actions that will be consistent and address the kind of behaviors that need to be addressed, but we just don't know yet. >> [inaudible] >> i don't know. they've certainly raised their expectations. yes, i did see the article. i don't know. the enforcement priorities of the justice department have confused me. i don't understand them. but that's not my space, so i don't want talk with them regularly. i read, you know, when you read in the newspapers. but i do wish there had been a more robust enforcement policy not just with the justice department, with some of our regulatory agencies as well. but again, one that's consistent and sends clear signals about unacceptable behaviors to change the behaviors, not so much, you know, looking to more discretionary type things or responses to political pressure. >> and that's all the time we have today. thanks so much to our panelists for being here. excellent discussion and insights. that concludes our panel, thanks. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> as we approach the 50th anniversary of the march on washington and martin luther king jr.'s i have a dream speech, the good jobs nation coalition hosts a discussion
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this afternoon on civil rights and economic inequality. speakers include civil rights leaders, labor activists and low-wage workers and the relevance of dr. king's vision today. it's live at 6 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. and tonight booktv in prime time continues. beginning at 8 eastern with jeff scherrer on a chain of thunder. at 9:05, ishmael beah talks about his second book, "radiance of tomorrow." at 9:20 from booktv in london, a discussion with biographer herr myny lee. and at 9:50 best with selling author hah led hosseini on his most recent book, "and the mountains echoed." booktv tonight at 8 eastern here on c-span2. shifting gears to politics, democratic candidates running for new york city mayor take part in a debate ahead of the city's september 10th primary election. watch live coverage beginning at
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6 eastern today on our companion network, c-span. early on, you know, we said, okay, we have this 16-acre piece of land, we have to put some things on it or maybe not. it was just an open-ended what do we do with it, right? and everyone wanted a say in it. very quickly leaders promised a public process to receive public input, to generate a master plan. at the same time that that was going on, however, like i said before, you had larry silverstein, the developer who won the lease to the office space, you had pataki who was running the port authority, and they really believed in the importance of the commercial space that was destroyed. they wanted to make sure that lower manhattan remained an international financial hub, and they believed that in order for it to remain that reputation, they had to rebuild all of this commercial space. >> the controversy over the rebuilding on the site of the world trade center.
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elizabeth greenspan on "the battle for ground zero" sunday night at 9 on afterwords, part of booktv this weekend on c-span2. >> some news overseas, according to the associated press officials say egyptian court has ordered the release of ex-president hosni mubarak who has been imprisoned on charges of corruption. mr. mubarak, who is 85, has been held since april 2011 and is also facing a retrial on charges of come prisonty in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising. the white house yesterday announced that president barack obama will convene his national security council and cabinet-level officials next tuesday afternoon to discuss the situation in egypt and u.s. aid to the country after senator patrick leahy told news outlets yesterday that u.s. aid to egypt has been us pended. suspended. human rights activist katherine maher says the u.s. may be violating international law through its use of nsa
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surveillance programs. she spoke as a representative of a group that has formulated new principles aimed at protecting people from unwarranted electronic surveillance. speaking at part of an event, this is 40 minutes. >> excuse me, hello. if even could come to the forward of the room, please, you can bring your food, your drinks. leads sit down, we're going to -- please sit down, we're going to get started. [inaudible conversations] like herding cats. so i wanted to welcome everyone to the new america foundation. i'm thomas gideon, i'm the director of technology at the open technology institute. oti, as some of you may know, is an operational think tank that brings many disciplines together to collaborate on improving access to and control of open technologies. in supporting one of those disciplines, the one directly tasked with the research and development of open technologies such as the commercial wireless
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project, i especially appreciate the purpose of this event and this event series, this wider multicity, multicontinent series of bringing people of different backgrounds and experiences together. my team's unofficial motto is not even spaceships are built in a vacuum. the technology gists insure that the technology they build serves needs as we find them out in the world. third monday is an event series in more than nine cities now, i think the 10th or 11th just came online, and three continents at last count, and it strives to support close communications. each city brings its own particular character into the mix. here in d.c., the realms often overlap with policy advocacy. our speaker this evening, katherine maher, director of access now, notes this better than most working very much as
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she does directly at this interbe section. my pleasure to welcome her here to discuss with us work that access now along with eff and privacy international are leading with the support of hundreds of ngos around the world in applying human rights principles to communication surveillance. welcome, katherine. [applause] >> thank you so much for that kind introduction. i'm delighted to be here to introduce the international principles for the application of human rights to communication surveillance. i'm very much here as the representative of a group that is far greater than myself that includes literally hundreds of organizations that have come onboard as signatories in support of these principles as well as dozens of drafters who contributed to the process at hand. with all that we have recently learned regarding the cope and scale of government surveillance at home and abroad, there has never been a more urgent time to address the question of fundamental rights in the context of you ubiquitous digitl
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communications. here in the united states, we have heard defenses pertaining to the legality of a variety of surveillance programs under united states law and their impact on citizens. whether these programs are legal in the united states is very much a matter to be determined. i look forward with anticipation to the outcome of a variety of pending legal challenges filed by many partner organizations including the american civil liberties union and the electronic frontier foundation. however, we can be much clearer on the fact that these programs are likely in violation of international human rights principles including those enshrined in international law. even if the rights of u.s. suicides are protected by oversight and due process, the obama administration and congressional administration have freely acknowledged the fact that the targeting of foreign nationals is a key component. this intrusive, blanket targeting infringes on these universal human rights; the right to privacy, the right to free association and expression. and while the united states seeks to settle issues pertaining to the
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constitutionality of these programs, there is a whole other body of international law to consider including article 17 and 19 of the international covenant on civil and political rights to which the united states is a signatory. if you look around the world, virtually every national constitution and international legal framework enshrines the right to due process and privacy in some form. in the international covenant on civil and political rights, this is described as prohibiting arbitrary and unlawful interference of privacy and that everyone is entitled to the protection of this right. similarly, the u.s. fourth amendment talks about unreasonable search and seizure and the need for warrants issued on the basis of probable cause. so in october of last year, in 2012, in brussels a group of more than 40 experts in technology and with backgrounds in industry, academia, the legal sector and, of course, civil society came together forming the basis for what is now known as the international principles on the application of human rights to communications surveillance. the intent of this original
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gathering was to offer clarifying guidance around the access to data and content in the context of law enforcement. but as the process continued, the discussion necessarily widened to include questions related to the national security state and surveillance practice. the principles, the outcome of this discussion, seek to put forward an valuetive framework -- evaltive framework. when is surveillance unreasonable, and how does surveillance take place in a way that is grounded in international law and jurisprudence? intended to provide clear and pragmatic guidance for governments to expect the fundamental rights of digital users while engaging in effort toss protect the security of all citizens. by clarifying the processes by which access to digital data occurs, the principles also seek to assist policymakers to evaluate whether current laws and regulations comport with international human rights obligations. the process, which took nearly a year, was shepherded by a committed group of 15 civil
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society organizations. together, they analyzed more than 60 texts of constitutions containing articles or other language relating to communications privacy including the constitutions of the united states, peru, germany, kosovo, south korea, moldova, japan, vietnam, rwanda, truly a massive global undertaking. as well as international human rights law and jurisprudence such as the european court of human rights, the inter-american court of human rights and various articles ranging from the american declaration of rights and the duties of man to the arab charter on human rights. the process which finished this july came out with 13 clear principles. the drafters had to confront some significant questions around choosing language that met the needs of the global community while being relevant to national frameworks, deciding whether or not metadata should be included as protected information and determining issues such as how specific the language proportionality should be. at the end of the process, three core organizations -- including
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my own as well as privacy international and the electronic frontier foundation -- emerged as coordinators to help build awareness, secure signatories and push for the adoption and implementation of these principles in practice. to date, the principles have more than 215 signatures from around the world including human rights organizations, legal departments of universities and independent media groups. this includes 20 signatories from the united states as well as itp, the host of us here this evening, as well as free press, the electronic privacy information center and internews. this is very much civil society's effort to proactively engage with policymakers and other stakeholders in protecting the fundamental rights of all people. so i wanted to talk a little bit about the principles themselves. as i mentioned, they were nearly a year in development. they included four -- excuse me, 15 core civil society organizations and are drawn on the basis of more than 60 different constitutional frameworks. the outcome, the 13 principles, have been endorsed by the 215
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global signatories and the 20 u.s. signatories. now, the content of the principles, there are 13, include legality which is the idea that any limitation on the right to privacy must be prescribed by law. that is, in practice, any surveillance that is conducted by law enforcement, intelligence agencies or other government or government-affiliated institutions must be clearly spelled out in the plain text of the law so it is accessible and foreseeable to the public. that means the public is aware of the way the scope, the procedures, type and duration under which the state may use and the relevant law that authorizes that surveillance. they must have legitimate aims; that is, laws should only permit surveillance by specified state authorities to achieve a very legitimate aim that corresponds to an important legal interest. that is a compelling state interest that is limited so important such as the protection of public safety that it outweighs the individual rights
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of the users. justification must be spelled out in law and can be conducted only in the furtherance of these previously-specified legal interests. a very relevant example from the news that took place over the course of this weekend is that you can't, um, the -- one of the journalists associated with some of the disclosures that we know around the nsa programs that have been in the news recently, glenn greenwald, his partner was recently detained while passing through international transit on the basis of a anti-terrorism law which was the basis for his detention. now, whether that law in practice is directly related to that detention would be something that would need to be spelled out very clearly with regard to legitimate aims. necessity. that is to say that the information sought can only be -- or the surveillance can only be undertaken for which -- surveillance actions can only be undertaken when there are no clear means of acquiring the information sought. and be when the information is of vital importance to
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addressing the issue at hand or vital to the investigation. adequacy. any instance of communications surveillance authorized by law must be appropriate. that means in practice that the type or form of action with regards to the surveillance -- sorry, for surveillance action undertaking must be ticketly adequate. it must go no further than what is required to obtain the relevant information. proportion that wouldty. any -- excuse me. surveillance is a highly intrusive act. it directly interferes with the individual right to privacy and has deeply problematic impacts on the right to freedom of opinion, expression and assembly which are the foundations of democratic societies. therefore, any surveillance must be proportionate and must weigh the benefits gained from acquiring the information against the severity of the intrusion on the fundamental right of the person affected. competent judicial authority. that is to say that they must have a judge that is independent from the other branches of
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government who's familiar with the issues at hand and has the authority to decide these matters. must be made by a judge that is impartial and independent. due process. states must guarantee and respect individuals' rights by insuring that lawful procedures that govern interference are properly enumerated in law. that is to say that the principles must be applied in a procedural manner that is consistently practiced and clear to the general public. user notification. individuals should be notified of any decision around their communications. currently, there are many practices in place by which governments have access to user communications through third party providers, and those third party providers are gagged from actually disclosing to the user that their communications have been accessed. user notification is a clear part of the principles and an important component of notification so that that user can seek right to remedy or redress. transparency. states should be absolutely transparent and clear about the use of their surveillance
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communications, techniques and powers. this is a very easy one. just like the requirement that requires that citizens be be able to understand what the law authorizes, states must be transparent ability the procedures, scope, type and direction of surveillance they engage in. under what statute or law it has occurred. recently, the center for democracy and technology based here in d.c. was involved in organizing a letter that was signed by many of the companies implicated in the nsa prison program as well as a number of civil rights -- civil society and human rights organizations in calling for greater transparency from the u.s. government regarding the scope and extent of its national security programs. public oversight. states must establish independent oversight mechanisms to insure the accountability of surveillance practices. at the moment, surveillance is a practice that takes place in the dark. it is important there is public oversight to address misconduct and rein in abuses. this could take the form of an empowered ombudsman or oversight board that sits outside those
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three branches of government such as executive, legislative and judicial and examine the way that surveillance laws are adopted and implemented as well as bring case on we half of citizen -- on behalf of citizens. integrity of systems. this is a critical point, and while it may not necessarily be clear with regards to its links to international human rights principles, it is about defending the networks at a fundamental infrastructure level. surveillance and monitoring capabilities such as deep packet inspections and back doors offer the opportunity for system systc abuse. we can network integrity as a whole making the network inherently insecure for all users by creating vulnerabilities that any bad actor can exploit. a good example of this here with regards to communications in the united states is a proposal for the communications assistance for law enforcement act, second version, that would propose mandating that commercial service providers such as
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facebook and skype incorporate back doors into their platforms. these back doors would weaken the security of these platforms as a whole, impose costs on providers rather than narrowly targeting specific users, broadly expose all users to potential surveillance. safeguards for international cooperation. in response to the changes in flow of information and with regards to communications technologies and services, states increasingly need to seek access to information in law enforcement and national security context from providers that may not reside within their own borders. this is absolutely a part of due process and a critical component of a number of investigations many of which are entirely legitimate. unfortunately, at the moment it's unclear, it's often unclear, rather, the processes and mechanisms by which states cooperate with regards to information sharing. within the specific exchange of global information, it is important to have clear and consistent ways in which
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countries access and transfer that information such as mutual legal assistance treaties to facilitate this communications transfer. this allows for greater due process, a record of information sharing across states and a specification -- and should include a specification within the context of discrepancies between state standards that the higher level of protection for the individual applies. finally, safeguards against illegitimate access. states should enact legislation criminalizing illegal communications surveillance by public and private actors. we've seen many instances of abuse, so the law should provide sufficient civil and criminal penalties for illegal surveillance, protections for whistleblowers and avenues of redress for those affected individuals. anyone who accesses digital information without the procedures set up should be penalized, and those whose rights are violated should receive retribution. these are the 13 core
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principles, and they are available at necessary and proportionate.org. now, they launched in july of this year, so just over a month ago. and as i mentioned, there are more than 200 different signatories to these principles. the next steps forward this september include presentation of the principles at the u.n. human rights council in mid september at a side event and the various different coordinating organizations involved will be urging the u.n. human rights council to adopt the report of frank larue's recent report on human rights as well as integrate these rells into a binding resolution at the united nations level. at the u.s. level, we know that a number of organizations are seeking to integrate these principles into pending legislation regarding national security surveillance, and we expect that, we expect that organizations around the world as signatories will be doing the same. [applause]
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>> so i want to borrow a little bit more of your time before we open up to the usual discussion amongst ourselves that's really the focus of third monday. i know this is a bit unusual. before that i would like to give you a chance to ask katherine some questions about her work and her presentation, but i'm going to exercise moderator's prerogative and ask a few questions first just to unpack some of the things that she talked about, some of the things involved in her work. starting with really if you could speak a little bit more about the driving force behind the formation of the principles, so maybe what some of the expectations of the ngos that have been leading the development over the span of time that this has been -- what it is that they thought might happen with those principles, how they might be put to use in some way. >> sure. so the formation of the principles and the initial impetus for this group of organizations getting together was actually very much in response to what's known as the u.k. snoopers charter, a bill
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that had three major components that would have created new power for companies to collect information, create a system for public bodies to have access to that information and make changes to the regulatory authorities within the u.k. that would have been able to access information for surveillance principles or purposes. so privacy international, which is a u.k.-based organization, convened a group, as i mentioned, of 40 different organizations to come together with regards to an understanding, trying to create a better understanding of international law. and from that or better understanding of the various different principles and actions currently at play at the time in 2012 and begin to start a creative framework by which organizations both in civil society but also the private sector would have clarity around the way that they engaged with law enforcement agencies. this process led to creation of principles. these principles have certainly a precedent. you can look to 1996 and the creation of the johannesburg principles on national security and human rights, for example,
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as an example of when civil society has been able to come together, create a set of principles that then become integrated into the basic understanding of the way that we conduct all sorts of different national security activities, surveillance activities and the like within the context of human rights law. and so i think that the real idea with regards to the drafters was how, how does this become an international norm, how does this become a touchstone people can refer to, how this does this become an effective component within sort of the existing digital rights and human rights space. >> i want to come back to that before i turn questions over to the audience. but i also want to fast forward a little bit to where we are now, what is no doubt on many of the attendees' minds in terms of the mass surveillance that's been -- the story which has been unfolding here in the past several months. and there have been a lot of parallel efforts around this, the stop watching us campaign, the letter from internet
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government's coalition to the -- i'm going to resist the urge to go to the acronym here, but people will recognize it who work with the privacy and civil liberties oversight board, and, of course, you made reference to the other joint letter. so if you could talk a little bit about perhaps how those bookends of the act in the u.k., the circumstance here maybe informs the fact that you have been working on this up through the release in july. you're still working on this in terms of socializing this to relevant government bodies and agencies to achieve that touchstone that you articulated so well. what is the story in between? how has the work on this been responsive to the latest revelations? >> so i think that this is interesting. as i mentioned, the principles initially were designed to deal with law enforcement requests, and that is to say the sort of run of the mill, everyday, the law enforcement body's approach of consumer service providers and request information whether that be metadata or content data
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about an ongoing investigation. and over the course of the year that these principles have been developed, certainly more recently since the revelations about some of the nsa and gchq programs, the drafters of the principles went back and said, sort of asked themselves the question of whether there need to be existing or modifications to the principles in order to address some of these concerns about national security. what i found so fascinating about the process is that the drafters all agreed that, in fact, the communications principles that had been set forward within a law enforcement context held up to the national security context which i think speaks to the fact that, um, the principles are universeally and broadly applicable, but also that some of the existing secrecy and justifications around broad permissions with regard to national security are perhaps unjustified if these principles could equally apply within a more conventional law enforcement context as well as the national security context. >> so fast forward a little further out going back to those expectations. given what you talked about in
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terms of the launch of the principles in july, the work being done, some of the points of harmonization that you touched upon, what does the world look like with that keystone, that norm with those principles in place? what does that look like to the technologist, the activist, the policy activist? maybe 6, 12, 18 months further on? >> i might even go further than that. i think that the creation of international human rights norms as we know from past experience is something that takes a significant amount of time. i made reference to the johannesburg principles from 1996. now, those are principles that have certainly gained in traction not only recently, but recently with regards to some of the revelations that we know around programs such as these. but those principles are now 1996, 17 years old, is that right? this is a process that we anticipate will certainly take some time. i think the end goal or the sort of midterm goal at the moment is this u.n. resolution that i made reference to. i think that would be supported
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very much at the international level because many international groups do see the u.n. a as a key arbiter of rights and an excellent place to petition and reference to. over the long term from discussions with members of the coalition, i think that the objective is that these principles will become so well socialized that any sort of proposal with regards to legislation on surveillance will necessarily have to refer back to these 13 core principles as legislatures and be other bodies consider the implementation of surveillance at a state level. i think that as an activist, a human rights organization, this is an incredibly useful tool. as a policymaker or a legislator, these provide guidance so that when you are drafting potential legislation if you're looking to reform existing protocols or legislation, they may become a very useful test. and certainly i referenced the sort of network and communications integrity. as a technologist, i think they provide wonderful guidance for
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what it is that we should anticipate and hold forward with all communications systems which is complete network and system integrity without the inclusion of back doors or other forms of interference. >> great. i think that's an interesting picture to look forward to. [laughter] on a longer timeline. although we'll see as these things accelerate. hopefully, the experience that you've had adapting with the recent events gives you some experience and some play of triangulation on perhaps future events and testing sounds like in a good, constructive, fruitful way, anticipating what might be coming next. i promised i wouldn't monopolize katherine, so i would like to turn over to the audience for questions. we do have some volunteers with mics in the audience, so if you'd hold your question until the mic comes to you since we are live streaming and broadcasting so all of the audience at home can hear you as well. >> daniel of dcxc, you didn't mention the internet, so the nsa goes back to the '50s which is an entirely different world of
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communication. are there any bright red lines that you see, is there anybody who supports sort of a john perry barlow declaration of independence, actually you can't go there sort of thing? >> i think that that is a great question. we don't make reference to the internet, and that's for a variety of reasons. we make reference to digital communications, certainly. i think the expectation is very much that the modalities of communication will certainly change going forward. if you look at the universal declaration of human rights which is a document that dates to the first part of the last century, what you'll see is that particularly with regards to articles on the right to free expression, they actually don't make any specific reference to a mold of communications, and i think that that's something that we very much looked to adopt with regards to these principles is, if this is to become a touchstone document going forward, it needs to anticipate whatever forms of communication we might see in the tush. i don't know about the bright red line, sort of a declaration
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of cyber independence, but i do think there are certainly groups that are out there looking at those issues, and it's useful to have a whole spectrum of organizations and sort of positions on the matter. this is very much designed to be a collective understanding within a pragmatic framework that is a tool of guidance for policymakers but also is a tool of defense for human rights advocates. >> any other questions? here in the front. >> soren dayton. the one that surprises me the most is in some sense the user notification. if you take the analogy to, say, law enforcement phone t.a.r.p.ing, there -- phone t.a.r.p.ing, there isn't a notification process as i understand it, but i'm also struck that in the european parliament's sort of reaction to this they included user notification in their early july amended motion that was led by a whole series of people in reaction to the first wave of
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stories out of the guardian and the post. so, one, can you explain a little bit more of the context to the user notification and, two, i've always been struck that the european parliament in particular -- because it doesn't really have any security apparatus associated with it, i mean, none of the european institutions do -- that's the first place that something like this could really come to at least a vote in a parliament without some of the other pressures. could you comment on that? >> sure. so user notification, as i mentioned earlier, is very much along with transparency understood to be the touchstone for the beginning of redress with regards to rights violations. if you don't have access to information about the fact that a rights violation has occurred, it's incredibly difficult for you as a user to be able to seek any form of remedy with regards to that violation. on the fact that it's included within the principle, as i mentioned, the principles
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themselves come out of a survey of a variety of different bodies of international law, international human rights tools, constitutions. so we do see discrepancies from state to state. it was very much something that's prefaced within a european context that you might not have here in the united states as a core point of action. i take your point with regards to notification with an ongoing wiretap, for example. that would certainly interfere with the process of an investigation. when we talk about user notification, what we're often referring to is the removal of issues -- or the removal of tools such as gag orders on companies with regards to disclosing the fact that this sort of request for data has actually occurred. we know that particularly here in the united states national security letters, for example, have been used that have tied the hands and the voices of companies with regards to their ability to disclose that any form of such information grab has happened. not even necessarily to the
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users, but to that specific user, but to users as a whole. so we really want to make sure there are provisions in place for these different companies whether they be private sector actors or service providers to be able to disclose and provide that degree of transparency to their users even just so that users can make an informed choice about the services that they engage with. >> [inaudible] >> you know, i don't -- i'm happy to follow up and give you my e-mail address afterwards. i've got colleagues in brussels i'd be delighted to ask. >> hi. kevin -- [inaudible] center for democracy and technology. thank you for having this event, and i know that the principles were in process long before the nsa revelations, but it's very auspicious that they debuted at this time, particularly when there's been very little in the discourse about it, about the rights of non-u.s. persons. i wanted to highlight a couple of things that have been mentioned already, first, spinning off your comments about transparency.
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a joint letter by a variety of companies and civil society organizations demanding more transparency which is still open to signers at cet.org/we need to know. but more importantly, i wanted the to highlight something thomas mentioned which is the joint letter to the oversight board which went public, i believe earlier today, that staff from my organization and new america and access and dozens of other organizations worked on and have signed trying to inject that discussion into the debate over nsa surveillance and in particular get the pclob to consider the rights of u.s. persons and the human rights of everyone when preparing reports on the nsa programs. so i just wanted to highlight that and the fact that because the deadline is not until september 15th, that letter is also open to signature by organizations and individuals via the best bits coalition at bestbits.net/pclob or privacy and civil liberties oversight
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board. thanks. >> i think we had a question here and then we'll get to the folks on the side of the room. >> yeah, george lyle from internews. i just had a question about perspective. people have been talking about nsa and spying at least since world war ii, and it really started to pick up steam in the '70s. so today is it a matter of governments are truly doing more spying, or is it that the spying has gotten three times easier because of advances in technology? >> i'm, unfortunately, not a historian of surveillance. i would suggest certainly that what you can draw distinction with regards to the nsa's spying on foreign governments and foreign governments as targets which was historically their mandate and purpose, and the sort of increase and defusion of the collection of information with regards to private individuals, i think that that is an evolution we've seen at a global level, and that's in response to a variety of issues.
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certainly, the emergence of nonstate actors as a narrative concern within the national security community. as opposed to, with regards to whether these intelligence agencies are doing more spying, i think there's certainly an argument that's been articulated that addresses the fact that the cost for spying or the costs for surveillance has plummeted precipitously with regards to, given the advances in technology and the ability to do massive data storage and to conduct the sort of, you know, graph analysis that the nsa and certainly other intelligence agencies have the ability to do. and so if you do have decreased costs and increased stability, yes, i think that it's probably fairly safe to say that the amount of data that is acquired is not collected under the nsa definitionings with regards to interpretation or analysis has certainly gone up dramatically. >> we had a question on this side of the room. right there. >> hi, chris denton with the
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national democratic institute. now that these new principles are out there and being promoted, how would you suggest that civil society on the international stage get involved? how can they help promote this either domestically or as an international collective effort? >> there are 215 civil society signatories. we would love that to be 500, 700, 1,000. the signatory process is open to all. i mentioned that it includes everything from human rights groups to independent media groups, so it really is open to a broad variety of individuals, and so if you and your own work or any member of this audience works with organizations that are looking or would be interested in participating, by all meanings. i, you know, thomas raised the question with me earlier about whether these principles would ultimately evolve in some way. i don't necessarily know that something like that is on the table now, but by participating as a signatory at this current stage, that would open the door for such organizations to provide input going forward. within the domestic context, the
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signatories and the sort of coordinators of this campaign to receive more signatories have a variety of guidance as to how organizations can go to their legislators and their policymakers and use these principles as a tool in their, in their setting of policy in the domestic context and certainly at the international stage the more support, the more support that is afforded to efforts at the human rights council level, the more likely, the more likely there will be success with regards to a resolution on human rights and is surveillance. and i think that's something we're really looking forward to. the previous report by frank larue on human rights and surveillance failed with regards to being adopted into a resolution because it did not have full support of the members of the human rights council including the united states, it declined to endorse fully the report. partially because the report actually made specific reference to the foreign intelligence surveillance act. this all was prior to the recent
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nsa revelations. so gaining that universal support, insuring that goes to resolution, that's something that the international community is extraordinarily well positioned to do and we encourage that sort of participation. and, of course, afterwards i'm happy to provide any of my contact information and my colleagues' as well as the other organizers as to how we could provide that assistance. >> hi, griffin poise from the open technology institute. you mentioned as part of the 13 principles the formation of an independent court to actually overlook sort of this surveillance whether it's broad spectrum or more tightly enacted. would that be something closer to the hague, or would that be something like a more independent fisa court like as we have now? >> that's a great question. the principles are not prescriptive in the sense that they don't put forward the idea of an international court. the idea is very much that oversight at the judicial level,
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competent judicial authority should be integrated into all decision making around access and collection of data. so that would happen with regards to individual requests, specific warrants and the like. the idea of having an independent sort of ombudsman which is, i think, the other thing maybe that that you're making reference to is the idea that that would be an independent entity that has sort of, has sort of lock tuesdayal -- longitudinal perspective that understands the history and context of surveillance as it occurs within the national context but also independent of executive or legislative pressure and could provide the sort of -- act as an advocate on behalf of citizens, be able to potentially file a case on behalf of a citizen. it would really depend on the specific national context. but the principles are very much designed to be reflective of a national or domestic context as opposed to trying to create some sort of additional supernatural body. >> back to the perspective question. so in 1971 cointel pro ended in
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the united states. is there any chance in this country, i think the one surprising wit for me, is their sort of political energy to do something similar in this country. >> i mean, i can't speak to specific legislation. i will make note of the fact that ever since the revelations with regards to nsa spying here in the united states, we've seen a variety of different proposed legislation put forward including the conyers amendment that actually failed by almost an insignificant number of votes, very much tied to political leadership issues here in the united states. in the -- sorry, and with the legislation that we've seen put forward aside from that amendment, i think there are also things we've seen that are very much in line with the way that the principles would seek to reform surveillance practice as to whether we'll see anything like a, you know, renewed church
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committee that is empowered with the authority to fully investigate and provide transparency around ongoing actions, it's absolutely a hope of mine. and be i know that in speaking with the international community, it's a hope as well. i think kevin made excellent reference to the fact that ongoing activities have focused very much on the rights of u.s. citizen, so any form of action at a congressional level would ideally include a narrowing of the scope of surveillance not necessarily on the basis of national affiliation, but on the basis of reducing the overall amount of information acquired and analyzed which would have significant impacts with regards to reducing the number of innocent, non-u.s. persons who are also subjected to, subjected to surveillance by these ongoing programs. >> any other questions? no? all right. then i guess it's just left for me to thank katherine once again
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both for the presentation, a deep dive on the principles, your patience for answering my questions -- >> no, my pleasure. >> fantastic questions from the audience, although no doubt folks recognize some of the names and organizations as being those that are working alongside on these principles. and it's just left to turn over to the rest of the evening at this point in terms of there should be some residual refreshments one would hope on the back table and along the back side there, and i would encourage folks we have the space for another hour or so for folks to make introductions to themselves. i'm happy to facilitate a group introduction all around with the folks that are here, although you've heard some speakers that may have sparked your interest that you want to talk to more based on the questions they put forward to help advance the discussion. thank you again so much, katherine. >> thank you so much. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> breaking news this hour that a military judge has sentenced army private bradley manning to 35 years in prison for leaking classified information to the web site wikileaks. the 25-year-old manning, who was facing as much as 90 years in prison, was convicted last month of 20 charges including six violations of the espionage act. as we approach the 50th anniversary of the march on washington and martin luther king jr.'s i have a dream speech, the good jobs coalition hosts a discussion this afternoon on civil rights and economic inequality and the relevance of dr. king's vision today. it's live at 6 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. and tonight booktv in prime time continues. beginning at 8 eastern with jeff scherr rah on the chain of thunder: a novel of the siege at
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vicksburg. at 9:05, ishmael beah talks about his second book, "radiance of tomorrow." at 9:20 from booktv in london, a discussion with biographer lee. and at 9:50, khaled40 saneny on "and the mountains echoed." booktv tonight at 8 eastern here on c-span2. >> let's begin with a well known american novelist, one of our best writers, mr. james baldwin. what brought you to the march on washington? >> i could say the fact that i was born a negro in this country. more concretely, i felt there was no way for we not to be involved with what impressed me as being the most significant and most important, most loaded demonstration to free americans that has happened in this country. >> up until very recently, like most americans, i've expressed
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my support of civil rights largely by talking about it at cocktail parties, i'm afraid. but again, like most many americans this summer, i could no longer pay only lip service to a cause that was so urgently right and in a time that is so urgently now. >> where sunday, american history tv marks the 50th anniversary of the march on washington with historic and contemporary round table discussions, archival film, a visit to the national portrait gallery, a theater performance on the 960s civil rights movement and firsthand accounts of the day. it starts at 1 p.m. eastern, part of mesh history tv -- american history tv every weekend on c-span3. >> the senate judiciary subcommittee on the courts last month held a hearing on the impact of budget cuts on the courts. federal cuts reduced the judicial branch's overall funding levels by 5% affecting
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court workers including judges, public defenders, court staff, jurors and security officers. sixth circuit court judge julie gibbons said the cuts are devastating and threatened defendants' rights to counsel. >> welcome to this hearing of the judiciary subcommittee on bankruptcy and the courts. i'm pleased today to be joined by my ranking member, senator jeff sessions. senator sessions has either been the chairman or ranking member of this subcommittee since 2001 with the brief exception of two years in the 111th congress during which time he served as ranking member of the full committee. his experience in overseeing the judiciary to insure its efficient operation is unequaled, and i look forward to working with him together in this country. broadly speaking, the
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limitations on government set by our constitution as well as the liberty interests reserved to the states and the people ultimately rely on our judiciary to enforce them. when an individual is wronged or a business dispute arises, they can return to our courts, get a fair hearing and a just resolution and move forward with their lives. when the federal government seeks to deprive any american of life or liberty, it is the courts and often federal public defenders they employ that makes sure the government is forced to meet its burden of establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. the across the board federal budget cut that the sequester caused was thought to be so dangerous, so reckless that it would force the congress to confront our nation's spiraling deficits. congress has not, however, acted, and the result has been an erosion of our government to do the people's business. i fear that sustained and vim nays cuts could push us to a point of crisis.
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the judiciary has looked at a variety of measures to address this reality, and very few come without significant pain to the individuals, the lit gachts, the businesses and others who rely on them. one proposal, to simply not schedule civil jury trials in the month of september, would impose a 30-day uncertainty tax. a judge in nebraska has threatened to dismiss all so-called low priority immigration status crimes because of a lack of capacity. in new york deep furlough cuts to the public defender's office caused a delay of the criminal trial for osama bin laden's son-in-law. in delaware, my home state, the sequester has meant lengthy employee furloughs at the clerk's office of our bankruptcy court resulting in the postponement of the infrastructure of i.t. infrastructure. the cuts have not been deeper only because that office is already working with 40% fewer
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staff despite ab increasing case -- an increasing case load. the delaware federal public defender's office has had to furlough its defenders 15 days this year so far, essentially canceling the criminal docket every friday for the rest of this year. every day is another day defendants spend in pretrial incarceration at cost to taxpayers of more than $100 a day. the defender's office has had to sharply curtail expenditures for experts which may be leading to a decrease in the quality of our representation leading to longer prison terms and more avoidable it taxpayer expense. and, frankly, the picture looking forward is still bleaker. next year the federal public defenders' office nationwide are scheduled to take a 23% budget cut. in delaware this means a third of the office would be laid off, so the remaining employees would face between 26 and 60 furlough days and funding for experts and investigation services would not be restored.
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fifty years ago this year, the u.s. supreme court gave substance to the sixth amendment's right to counsel when it ruled the government could not threaten indigent individuals with prison be terms unless it also provided them with an attorney. the federal services are the embodiment of that vital legacy. sequester's slowing the pace, increasing the cost and potentially eroding the quality of delivery of justice in our country. congress is disappointing so far in saving the courts from these draconian cuts. individuals depend on the courts to be there when they need them, to seek relief from discrimination, to resolve complicated commercial disputes and enable parties to stop fighting and get to work growing our economy. the irony is cuts don't actually save taxpayers any money. the cases will still be adjudicated, just at a slower pace and higher cost. the constitution, as we all
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know, still guarantees the right to effective assistance of counsel, so courts will inevitably have to appoint a greater number of panel attorneys. yes, our nation does find itself in fiscal crisis, and every branch of government must do its part. the judiciary need not be exempted and is already working to reduce expenses by selling or renting excess office space and canceling conferences. any expenses beyond core mission need to be looked at closely all across our government. that said, we're not going to be able to solve or noticeably mitigate the national fiscal crisis on the backs of the courts since they spend 19 cents of every federal clash 100 -- $100 spent. that strikes me as a pretty good deal, particularly for a branch that does its job so well. in my view, the indiscriminate cuts are truly penny wise and pound foolish. dr. king once famously said justice too long delayed is justice denied.
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i worry that the sequester may be denying justice to too many americans. i look forward to the testimony of our panel today, and i hope you will shed greater light on what the judiciary has done, what it would be forced to do if congress continues to neglect its duty to responsibly replace the sequester. with that, i'd like to invite an opening comment from my ranking member, senator sessions. >> well, thank you. i appreciate the opportunity to talk about the financial problem that the court is facing as a result of the cuts under the budget control act. if you'll recall, we are on an unsustainable debt course as everyone agrees. in august of 2011, a controversy arose over raising the debt ceiling. we'd already hit the debt ceiling. and so the agreement was finally reached and passed into law -- both houses supported it, the president supported it, he
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suggested his aides did the sequester mechanism -- and that passed. so after it passed, instead of spending going up from the current $37 trillion over ten years which would be current law, it was projected to go up to $47 trillion over ten years. and as the reductions went into place, we would increase spending from 37 to 45 trillion. and, of course, the problem we are facing is that cuts were directed at too many areas perhaps more heavily than should be and whole areas were protected from any cuts at all. so cuts were not balanced. we need a balanced approach, colleagues, is what we need. a balanced approach in reduction of spending and tightening of our belt. so the courts are one of the areas that took a substantial
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reduction in spending. while i don't quite understand how we are having 25, 30% cuts, it's not that much being cut. so somebody somewhere in the agencies or departments or maybe congress is directing certain agencies to take less -- more reductions than the administrative courts have taken as a whole, number one. number two, i think perhaps things are not as bad as feared because it looks to me like that the house marked up to the president's request on the aoc which should have marched some of the problems. and maybe that'll help. understand you're asking for about 70 million more to finish this year, judge gibbons, which
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isn't an unreasonable request, i'll say it that way. [laughter] although we start making exceptions, we've got a lot of other agencies and departments that would like to have a accept elemental too -- supplemental too. so i would just say to you with regard to the budget control act and the sequester, congress voted and the american people seem quite comfortable with the idea that we can reduce spending for a little while around here instead of having steady growth, and they're not panicked, and i know we have stories that there's not enough copy paper in a clerk's office somewhere. well, i would say the clerk, you need a new clerk. it's like those school people that require the students to bring in toilet paper because they can't find enough money to do that or fix their roof. that's mismanagement, to me. so you've been asked, though, in your defense to take a
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reductions more rapidly than smart people would ask you to take it. it's sort of an aberrational thing as part of this cut, and i think it's fallen pretty hard, and i'm hearing some stories that i'm willing to look at. so just to come back to the fundamentals, there what i'm hearing -- from what i'm hearing the courts in areas are being smart, they're working hard, they're finding ways to save money without impacting the quality of justice in america. and for that, you should be saluted. if you can't maintain spending, you can't maintain justice at that level, we hope you will keep us informed. and so congress, maybe we can do something about it. but i think the title of sequestering justice is a bit over the top from my perspective. ..
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the strength of the american experience is our rule of law, a confidence that americans have that justice is done, particularly in federal courts, and that people expect that and we want to be sure that that is maintained. it requires a certain amount of financial support. and i think that you have every right to come to congress and
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express concerns, you think the level of support is so low that you're not able to maintain the minimum, you know, standards of justice that we believe are necessary. so mr. chairman, thank you. i think it's good to have this discussion but i'm hearing from some of my friends in alabama that they think cuts in public defenders and all are more than they should be. and so i'm anxious to hear some of the details. >> thank you, senator sessions. before we delve into witness testimony, please rise if he would while administered the oath. which is custom of this committee. please raise your right hand and repeat after me. [witnesses were sworn in] thank you and let the record show the witnesses are answered in the affirmative. our first witness today is judge julia gibbons. judge gibbons as a judge for the sixth circuit court of appeals. she was confirmed to that seat
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in 2002 after serving 19 years as a district court judge for the western district of tennessee. she's also cheered the judicial conference of the united states committee on budget and so is deeply versed in funny issues faced by the court and can end up with many of the implicit questions raised in the opening statement. from both myself and senator sessions. judge gibbons, please proceed. >> chairman coons, senator sessions, members of the subcommittee, i appear before you as chair of the judicial conference committee on the budget. the judiciary very much appreciates the invitation to discuss the financial crisis facing the federal courts. senator coons, i'm pleased that judges and your own circle are here today. because technically, there's judge tom from your home state. the third circuit itself is much -- but it's within the circuit court nation and effort to address the current crisis, has
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been still but i also would like to recognize judge john bates, right here behind me, the new director of the administrative office of the court who comes after serving on the d.c. federal district court. the $350 million, 5% across the board sequestration got a steps into federal court operations. to address the frustration executive committee of the judicial conference implemented a number of emergency managers for fiscal year 2013. many of these have been painful and difficult to implement and reflect one time reductions that cannot be repeated in future funding levels remain flat or decline. would estimate the clerks of course and probation and pretrial service officers were downsized by as many as 1000 staff during 2013, and implement 8600 furlough days. courts authority of re: reduce staff by no 2100 employees
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between july 2011 and the present, a 10% staffing lost over this two-year period, and additional losses a year and are expected. the staffing losses we believe are resulting in the slower processing of civil and bankruptcy cases which will impact individuals, small businesses, and corporations seeking to resolve disputes in the federal courts. while it's useful to measure the impact of cuts in terms of employee or program law, ultimately the primary consequence of sequestration is not integral to the court. instead, it is the harm to commerce, orderly and prompt resolution of disputes, public safety and constitutional rights ranging from effective representation by counsel for criminal defendants, to jury trial. indeed, if funding levels remain flat or declined, the results
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compromises the constitutional mission of the courts. i want to discuss in a little more detail to areas public safety and effective representation by counsel. the judiciary's nearly 6000 probation and pretrial services officers play an important role in ensuring public safety. they supervise convicted individuals in making a day after they been released from prison, and supervise defendants waiting from. staffing in these offices down 7% in july 2011, meaning less deterrent, detection and response to possible criminal activity as federal defendants and offenders in the committee. particularly troubling are cuts that have been made to drug and mental health testing and treatment services, into electronic and gps monitoring. these cuts and there are officers abilities to keep the public safe. turning to the defender program, sequestration threatens the
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judiciary committee to fulfill a fundamental right guaranteed by the sixth amendment, the right to court-appointed counsel for criminal defendants who lack the financial resources to hire an attorney. there is no easy answers when it comes to applying cuts to the program. cuts to the defenders threatened allies and the progress of cases which may violate constitutional and statutory speedy trial mandates, and may cost increase panel representations which drives up costs. referring panel attorney payment pushes obligations that must be paid to appropriations for the following year, a situation not attracted to us our our appropriators. and also may make obtaining attorneys to take appointments difficult. we have been asked while they cannot transfer funds from other judiciary accounts to help the defenders. while we have the authority, we
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do not have the funding to do so. we have no available surplus funding. as been mentioned our supplemental appropriations request, we do ask for $73 million to address critical needs in court and the defender program. we hope congress will give strong consideration for this request. as far as 2014 funding is concerned, chairman coons, we received very positive needs this morning about the senate subcommittees markup of the bill in which we are -- you are a member of the subcommittee we know and we appreciate subcommittees making judiciary funding a priority. still, given the sharp disagreement between the white house and the senate and the house on spending matters, we are very concerned about future fund but if the funding disputes cannot be resolved and congress instead chooses to pursue a continuing resolution, we would
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appreciate this committee, the subcommittee support of a funding anomaly or exception that would find us above a hard freeze in 2014. flat funding at the sequestration of would exacerbate the current situation and directly damage the system that is the hallmark of our liberty around the world. we continue to be good stewards of the taxpayers dollars and seek ways to reduce costs if we have aggressively for the last decade. but no amount of cost containment will offset the major reductions in sequestration. reluctant congress to recognize our critical needs and our function in government, our value to the democracy, by providing the funding we need to do our work. thank you and happy to answer questions. >> thank you, judge gibbons. before turn to our next witness, i'd like to both join you in welcoming the members of the
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judiciary. i would ask consent in into the record a letter from the budget committee of the third circuit court of appeal in from the national association of assistance united states attorneys on the damage to the court and the administration caused by the sequester. our next witness is w. west allen, mr. al unser sr. star of the government service -- mr. alves a partner in the las vegas office of turn 11 and is an ip lawyer whose practice extensively before u.s. federal court and yes -- he served as executive managing editor of the journal of computer and information law. welcome. please proceed. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member sessions. it's an opportunity privilege to be with you today and give you some testimony. my son it is really on behalf of not just the 16,000 lawyers who are directly interested in the federal court system, but really the people and businesses we represented my comments, therefore, will be directed as
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to the people and thereby for strong and independent american judiciary that upholds the rule of law. i know i'll share that interest. it truly is we the people, both individuals and businesses seek and expect justice in american federal courts. it is the ability of our courts to provide fair, prompt and respect just appeared as one of the hallmarks, great hallmarks of our nation. our founding fathers recognized the compelling need for a strong federal judiciary. establishing as a separate code equal branch of government, sufficiently independent to assure the rule of law. but independence and progress of decision-making are imperiled in the federal judiciary lacks the resources to properly discharge its constitutional responsibilities. the long tradition of excellence, in the american judiciary, ma is in jeopardy. as an attorney who practices regularly, i want to focus on three points. the first is that there are true economic and cost implications related to sequestration of the federal courts that affect our
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american commerce, american business, individual. second, the freedom related implications. to the constitutions sixth amendment writes for the accused to be represented. and, finally, the crisis really has given rise to a question about our national identity and its respect for the american judiciary. that the people who are ordained and established a branch of government and expect and hope they will be properly funded at all times. the first point is economics. quite silly, sequestration disgrace impact has been for practicing attorneys and their clients delays. delays in judicial proceedings. reduce public access due to budget cuts are having their effects. reduced hours of staffing, delays in judicial proceedings is commonplace. indeed, waiting for judicial ruling on relatively simple motion for six month, even up to a year is not uncommon and has to be explained to clients all
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the time. the ever expenditure station of course only exacerbates the problem. we note that in 2012 there were 1400 cases per judge in for example, the issue district of california while the recommended number of these cases per judge should be more closer to 400. immigration prosecutions on our borders have increased 52.8% over levels just reported five years ago. the federal judges are simply absorbing the extra caseload. there are significant delays as, chairman coons come to understanding bankruptcy court. your court is the busiest in the country for chapter 11 filings. since 2012, filings have increased. budget has cut in 20% over the past three years. these changes in bankruptcy court are affecting the livelihoods of debtor companies, employees as those property rights and creditors and stakeholders in some of our nation's most important
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enterprises that depend on the bankruptcy court ability to administer justice in a timely fashion. mr. chairman, the increasing delays and uncertainty in a federal courts are having an economic effect upon his businesses and individuals. simply more expensive when there are delays. the second point is the federal court's sequestration effects are having to implications for the people's right under the constitution both for general will for having a safe, secure society that is, that is, that is available that would lead to worry about criminally accused doing things, whether they are pretrial stages are posttrial stages. likewise related to that is a constitutional issue of the sixth amendment. our tradition of the sixth amendment and looking after the criminally accused of having them have a right to counsel. as to the issues with safety, there's a concern that probation and pretrial service officers are enabled to properly monitor
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the activities of convicted those but we're concerned their encountered a diminished ability to closely supervise offenders and assure compliance with court orders. they are becoming understaffed, under trained and underfunded as a result of sequestration. the sixth amendment issues as well understood. i'll leave that to mr. nachmanoff and others but the tradition that we have in the united states of america is that regardless of who you are, your ability to pick up if you're accused of the crime have a right to an attorney regardless of your means. and that is in some instances being jeopardized at least with delays and requirements. finally, my closing point is the effects of federal courts are having a profound implication honor national identity and as long tradition of a strong and powerful, i guess the right word is actually a strong and -- american judiciary. we note that the excellence of
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the american judiciary is truly at risk. justice kennedy eloquently explained, if judicial excellence is cast on the sea of congressional indifference, the rule of law is in peril. we have seen it firsthand. we generally as litigators have seen that when there's inadequate funding, the american judiciary does suffer. the complete independence of course, is essential to our constitution and is expressed constitutional response but of congress to safeguard its independence by adequate funding our federal courts. we would exhort the judiciary committee and cost to assure the delivery of sufficient funds that will sustain the people's judiciary, the american judiciary, and as long tradition of excellence. thank you for your consideration, and i would be happy to answer any questions. >> thank you very much, mr. allen, for your testimony. next i will turn to mr. nachmanoff. our final witness. michael nachmanoff has been
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federal public defender for the eastern district of virginia since 2007 and has been an assistant public defender in the office since 2002. mr. nachmanoff successfully argue the case, a case dealing with excessive sense and guidelines ranges for crack cocaine. an issue that since been addressed legislatively. thanks to the leadership of to my colleagues on this committee in particular, senator session and senator durbin. like judge gibbons, mr. nachmanoff is a graduate of the university of virginia law school. mr. nachmanoff, please proceed. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you -- [inaudible] >> thank you. sorry. thank you for holding this hearing and providing me with the opportunity to speak on behalf on the federal public and community defenders. i appreciate very much the comments from you, mr. chairman, and from senator sessions come
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and also the expressions of support and the recognition of the particular problem that federal and commit defenders have in the support from judge gibbons and from the federal bar association, mr. allen. we appreciate the opportunity to be here. mr. chairman, you made reference to the deity in case, and it is an irony that we are discussing the crisis that faces federal defenders exactly 50 years after the gideon case was decided. decision that really breathes life into the fundamental principle that we all cherish. of equal access to justice under the law. but there is a bigger irony here in some ways, that this funding crisis for federal defenders comes at a time when the government is so focused on making sure that government services provide cost efficient and quality services your
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because we are on the verge of being crippled and we are a model of quality inefficiency. and that by reducing the staffing of federal offenders -- defenders, ultimately more money, indigent costs will rise. why is that, senator sessions asked about why we're being hit so hard. and answer to that is, first, that we are a constitutional mandate. we don't control the cases that we get. we don't control what kinds of cases are brought. of course, the department of justice decides on its priorities, the number of cases, the complexity of those cases and where those cases are brought. we react to that, and our staff is extremely lean. we have 90% of our costs are set in salary, benefits and rent. in the eastern district of virginia, my rant over the past
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10 years that i've been in the office has almost doubled during that time. the remaining 10% of our expenses are case related expenses. they are essential services that we provide. experts, investigation, case related travel. we cannot do 80% of the work, or even 90% of the work for our clients and meet our constitutional obligations. we cannot choose to do less for our client and spend less money in order to do with the constitution demands. and for that reason, we have had to furlough employees, to lay off employees, after cutting out every other expense that we could come including new hires, including replacement of needed equipment, including training. we work with the cj panel, the cj panel is a critical part of the indigent defense system. between the two groups, the federal defenders and cj was, we
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represent 90% of all criminal defendants in the federal court. we provide support to the panel through training, through outreach your that saves money for the government. they are able to do their jobs more efficiently. as we've been cut as result of the sequester, we have had to furlough our employees but we had to eliminate training. we have had to cut ourselves to the bone. many defenders have already laid off staff, like holly from arizona will be at 25% less staffing by october 1. but that's not the worst that we face. federal defenders are confront confronted, if there is flat funding, and we are operating not on the marks from house and the cynic in which we are very grateful for, both the senate and house, but only continue resolution. we are facing eliminating up to 35% or more of our staffing. and that's because the
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alternative is to be faced with weeks upon weeks of furloughs. in eastern district of virginia, i'd be faced with, if i kept my staff on board, following 4907 days. it's simply untenable. it's untenable as a manager to do that to my employees. it's impossible for our clients through constitutional rights and speedy trial rights that must be observed. and it is inappropriate for the public. the department of justice was fortunate. they were able to reality funds and avoid furloughs. that has created an imbalance as senator sessions refer to. balance is critical in the court. we have faced furloughs and layoffs. they been protected this year but in the coming year, if we face the loss of a third of our staff and the department of justice is funded, that imbalance will be greater. i have been very proud, over the last several years with my u.s. attorney to discuss the rule of
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law and the rights that we afford defendants in federal court. we do that for judges who come from parts of the world where the rule of law is weak, and the protections afforded criminal defendants are not strong. and i've always been proud to have those discussions to see of those judges from other parts of the world have reacted, and have been impressed with the degree of professionalism, and our fidelity to the constitution. it would be much harder for me to have that conversation with foreign judges this year as i look at the prospect of having to lay off critical staff, and we ask for your help. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. nachmanoff. we will now proceed with five minutes rounds of questioning. and i'll begin if i might with judge gibbons. judge gibbons, thank you for your testimony today. just tell me, at the beginning if you might, in your 19 years as a trial court judge, can you speak about the relative
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importance of federal public defenders in ensuring the quality of justice and of all the of the judging, what you director saw? >> i think there is general agreement throughout the judiciary, and particularly from trial judges who do see the work of the federal defenders up clothes everyday, that the federal defender organization do an excellent job of representing criminal defendants in our courts. that's not to say we don't have many excellent panel attorneys, but obviously the contributions of someone who does the work full-time often makes a career of the job, those sorts of contributions cannot be underestimated. they do extremely good work and its valuable work. >> judge, thank you for the work that you have done to control costs in other areas that don't affect your personal.
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there have been some have been critical of the judiciary building of courtroom space and i'd be interested in hearing what you done to limit the footprint and the costs of course office space. and in particular whether there's any policies or procedures at the gfa that make it difficult to achieve further savings through reduction of office space speak with al qaeda to you the short answer, because we have been working on this problem since 2004. to mention a couple of our earlier efforts to move pretty quickly to correct efforts. early on, we post kind of our own version of the budget cap in each of the aries in our budget, and it was in a way a statement about what we were going to do to control the growth in state costs in other areas. that was an important goal for us and one that we were able to meet. we also had a major rent a
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validation program where we would basically, we started doing in house auditing or monitoring of bills that the general services administration provided us. and we found many, many errors and many overcharges. with those efforts, plus some other efforts like the revised management plan and process, and others, we were able to, we believe, avoid costs of about $400 million in the rent area. the asset management program, planning process is what's used now in our courthouse construction estimates. today, our focus has shifted towards attempt to reduce our footprint. we have a goal of 3% reduction by 2018.
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obviously, anything we could do to accelerate that would be excellent. we are trying to move probation and pretrial services officers, other court offices that are in leased space back in the court houses, whenever feasible. we are attempting to release space. over this whole period of time we close i think about 18 nonresident facilities. we're looking for other opportunities to close entire facilities and to release space. courts are getting pretty creative about it. in my own court, the library is giving up all of its space and moving into clerks office space that was made available when we went through an automated system of filing and when all that space. now, problems with the gsa. we've tried to have a constructive relationship with them, and we do, but there's
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just hitches in hand in the system. first, we believe that in many cases we are not charged an appropriate market rate for the facilities we rent. when they do construction for us, it seems to be at costs that are not really competitive and out of higher than we should pay. there tends to be construction delays that further drive up the cost. with respect to this effort to release space, it's a little hard sometimes to get gsa to take the space back in a timely manner. we, of course, have to continue to pay the rent, no discretion about that, yet went as a percentage of our budget is not subject to sequestration or other cat. so we are still, we have to pay, that's one of the reasons in accounts like ours that are so heavily people in rent, that it is very hard to see all the, we have no way to quickly reduce
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our rent costs. that's one of the reasons that the burden seems to fall so heavily, so fast on the personnel side of this. >> thank you anna. as a former clerk, both to interrupt the judge but forgetting the amount of time from a first round of questioning. >> i'm so sorry but i took all your time. i want you to would be a lot to say there. >> we will have several rounds. i have other questions for the other witnesses. senator sessions? >> i was just reminded at the time you are appointed to the sixth circuit, eight of the 16 seats were unveiled due to basically -- unfilled basically due to a filibuster for my democratic colleagues. they have forgotten all that. but it was really an extraordinary thing. some of you guys got by with eight instead of the authorized
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16 judges. >> well, i was not part -- >> we've had other shortages around sometimes can and would have to work our way through it and tried to maintain the quality of justices at the same time. would you agree, sometimes you can work your way? >> we have worked our way through a lot of those kinds of situations, particularly with judicial vacancies. that's easier because you can really spend the staffing problems because you can rely on visiting judges. we have inner circuit assignments but with a lot of ways to work around that, fewer ways to work around staffing issues. >> let me ask you this. i have a little difficult time, mr. chairman, of understand exactly, i should note that, how the sequester works. looking at the judicial branch total discretionary, total
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outlay, in 2007, 2012, it was $6,000,470,000. and in 2013 it went up a little the 6548. and after the sequester, it was supposed to go, it was projected to go to that i guess, 6548, and it dropped to 6241. so that would be about two or $300 billion, and million dollar reduction. las..
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is the budget that can't take the cut. they are constitutionally protected. so we end up with a situation
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where our workload, the defenders workload and the court's work load is completely controlled by what comes in the doors. it's not our own choice. we don't have optional programs we can eliminate like many parts of government. everything we do is constitutionally and star charlie mandated. >> you have the office that has been exceedingly technologically advanced by computer now. we aren't even coming to the filing. and you have an incredibly high percentage of cases decided by police, civil and criminal. it's stunning the percentage will send 97% of criminal cases now disposed of by guilty plea. and likewise in the civil cases. it seems to me that there are opportunities to continue those
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trends in a more efficient way. i'm sure if they hate to lay off people but if they can get by with fewer people they need to work in that direction. >> they've been working in that direction. >> i'm just raising some of the good news out there. it's not all bad. it could be 25% of the staff next year. i don't see how a 5% reduction can result in a 25% reduction in your staff of an office. it sounds to me like maybe the guys at the top are keeping their money and making all the cuts fall down on the people who are doing the work. how can this be? can you tell me what the numbers are before the sequester took place and where you expect it to
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go in the actual outlays for your agency? >> i will do my best with the numbers. as a result of the budget control act in 2013, the defender services account was deprived at $52 million. so for our account the was a very big number that amounted to almost 9% but we were told of that almost half way through the year. so for us as managers on the ground, we had to implement it in a shorter amount of time. >> much earlier than that. august of 2011 when the bill was passed. why didn't they wait. they told the defense department blocked the plan wasn't going to happen, don't worry about it or something. and now they had to do it in seven months what should have been done in 12. who told you not to plan for it? >> defenders in the field get
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guidance with regards to the budgets. we got interim budgets as a result of the continued resolution and we represent a decline in we represent in the eastern district of virginia we accept every case absent the conflict and in the eastern district that comes out to or not 70 or 75% of the cases. as i am sure you are aware in the districts where they bring the multi defender cases the defender can only take one of the percentage might be lower but that isn't a function of turning a basis. so we represented those clients as we were required to do and we had to spend our funding in order to defend them. at a certain point we were told that we would not have the money that was anticipated and therefore had to manage and we would still maintain our ethical obligations to our clients. in my district we are in the midst of a multi month that penalty trial involving somali pirates.
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you can imagine how cost intensive that is for the staffing and resources. that left us with no choice since we were not going to abandon that client and the court or the climate or anyone else would expect us to do so to make up that shortfall through the furloughs and layoffs. we know now going in 2014 that if there is another continuing resolution and there is flat funding, there's going to be more than double that in terms of the shortfall in the defender services account. so we have to manage that and think about how we are going to make up for it. the question on the degree of separation i think is important. we have to pay severance and unemployment potentially and annual leave so if we separate them needed a valuable member of the team not because they aren't doing a good job but because we don't have enough money, we may separate them and still be obligated to pay them for four
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months, six months, maybe even a year depending on their eligibility for the severance costs. so as we try to make up the shortfall that we are told we may have if we are not going to furlough our employees for weeks or months at a time which we cannot do -- it isn't fair and practical -- we have to lay off people and do it much sooner. >> i wish we had more money. we had a deeper systemic problem and we are going to have to deal with entitlements because with interest you are pushing out 40% of the expenditure of the united states on the basic entitlement programs plus interest and there is a limit to what the discretionary accounts can sustain. thank you. >> mr. chairman for hosting this and to all the witnesses for being here this is a matter of considerable concern.
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the new public defender who had been a federal public defender has been in touch with me about the importance of what this does to the federal public defender's office. i believe in the july 22nd letter from the national association of assistant attorneys is in the record; is that correct? >> that's correct. >> that helps explain how this isn't a prosecutor versus public defender thing. i was a u.s. attorney general of my state. we want a justice system that works and a voluble robust public defender on the side that keeps the case is moving quickly and prevents unnecessary tension that is good for the system and that was the point made by the national association of the attorneys. i also want to put a letter in the record from the attorney general holder and the deputy attorney general stating among
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other things it is a june 12 letter this year we recognize the court system operates effectively only when all of its functions are adequately funded and operational tebeau this includes court employees, probation, pretrial officers and defender services which provide defense council guaranteed under the sixth amendment. an effective court system is one of the foundations of the space society and one of the nation's dead rock institutions. so we have important calls to try to get this right. we had this exchange in the budget committee and i know that senator seeks a balanced approach but it's not a balanced approach if you're not going to raise any new revenue. it's not a balanced approach when you're putting the well-being of billionaires' paying lower taxes than brick masons ahead of solving the problem. it's not a balanced approach when a company like cvs in rhode island pays a 35% tax rate as
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required and carnival cruise line pays 0.6% because they figured out how to record their profits overseas and hide it from american taxation. it's not fair when apple is taking its intellectual property and pretending it exists in ireland and not in the united states and dodging their american taxes that way, too. there are things that can be done to not raise the tax rates in this country but to get rid of the loopholes and special services that have been provided to the special interests for many decades now. and i don't think you can have a balanced approach if you are protecting those preserves of special-interest benefits. you can only have a balanced approach if you are going at it across the way. yes there is a steady growth in the budget but there's also a steady growth in the u.s. population. there is a steady growth in the
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gdp and considerably more than steady growth in the senior population and seniors take more money than they did when they were younger but to use more health care. the steady growth and income inequality in the country. i think the target test to get rid of the sequestered in a fair and balanced way. problems like we heard about in the budget committee on the defense side can then be addressed. but it's asking a lot. mr. nachmanoff, in your testimony was terrific. you don't have the slippage. you are in all personnel outfit and as a guy that has run the office before i know very well that can be expensive to let somebody go. you can be a loser in the short run of the proposition. so you could be in a desperate situation if we do not solve this. i hope we can find a way to work together to do this. one of the best ways would be to simply have the house and the senate appoint conferees on the budgets that we adopted so that
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we can do what all ordinarily does and put them in a conference so we can work it out. unfortunately the house doesn't want to do that. the conferences are public now. there was a time you went into the back room and they might have been willing to do that but they are public now which means they have to defend the budget the past in the light of the day and they don't want to do that because the budget is an extreme budget and so we are stuck. and if we can only get through that and get the conferees appointed, then in the regular order of the senate we can get rid of the sequester and find a reasonable way forward so faint you for holding the hearing and bringing this piece of the problem to everyone's attention and with five seconds left i guess i will close. >> thank you come as a matter white house. before i turn to senator klobuchar i would ask consent to enter into the record a letter from mr. nachmanoff as well as from many of the federal public defenders and other colleagues throughout the country including
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in particular delaware public defender who i would like to specifically welcome to the hearing today his outreach to me that helped inspire me to hold this hearing today. there are also letters for the record from federal public defenders from each judicial district in the third circuit the tilling the impact of sequester on their offices. i would like to turn to senator klobuchar. >> thank you mr. chairman. i know we have the previous chairman of the subcommittee. because we really do believe we need functioning courts in the session and we work together when i chaired the subcommittee. i also wanted to thank you for your testimony. i'm going to turn to a few other issues. the public safety fund and the business bond and why we need to have the functioning courts. i come from the background as a prosecutor and i testified in some letters to the legislature supporting the public defender's budget as a prosecutor in minnesota because i always believed we were ministers of
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justice and we did our job best when we had were the opponent's and that it was very hard to figure out the fact sometimes unless we had a very good defense lawyer on the other side so we were able to get a better result if we knew every fact and if there was a trust and someone who could do a good job that got better results so i want to thank you for that. we are working on the patent reform and we are holding a hearing next week on some further issues that develop with that patent controls and other things and we are trying to move the cases faster. you talk about the effect on businesses and you've slowed down the court proceedings when you are trying to get through the litigation and things that promote litigation. >> i would be happy to come a senator. on the side we take a back seat because the criminal dhaka it has to be heard for the civil side we tend to wait patiently. and i can say unequivocally.
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>> we do the best we can but there is no question especially with the patent cases mabey per viewed to this committee that the patent cases are so onerous on the judicial courts and they take up so much time they often get pushed to the back burner. when i mention their emotions for six months, eight months to a year those often tend to be patent cases where the rulings might be 50, eda, 100 pages long. the dilemma is as a practitioner we find ourselves discussing with clients and large corporations why justice in a sense can't be done. for example i have right now cases where there are pending motions for the injunctive where the federal court is the right jurisdiction to ask that things would be stated in a certain place and things not change, that there be a place to help protect in the intellectual property and it takes time. before the trial for the
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protection you might not have the assistance for six months, eight months and it's difficult at times to express to the clients what happens to the american justice. why do we hold a patent in the clear infringement and the simple answer is because the courts have a tall stack of motions on their desk and we have to wait our turn and it is having a real effect on the business interests. i noted the difference in my mind between an agency which has the handout to congress as the senator sessions noted there are other agencies grappling for federal dollars but what is so significant is unlike other government agencies scrambling the american judiciary is a third branch of the people's form of government. in fact justice roberts noted that for every taxpayer dollar there is two tenths of 1 penny
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that funds one-third of the united states government. that is a staggering statistic and very efficient they are able to do that. that's the reason i'm here today is to express that concern that people instituted a federal system that has three branches of government. the congress is interested in the safekeeping of america's judiciary and we are at a point where one-third of the united states government is pleading for assistance so they can do the work of the american people under the constitution and businesses and individuals or suffering under the reality that the motions we take six months and honestly justice delayed is indeed justice denied. >> my status second per capita for the 500 companies a week of trading company. three m has as many patents and each employee has the patent
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basically. and so i see this not just as the trial lawyer lawsuits, but as a natural work of doing business it's going to be told to become involved time to time litigation over many things and we have to make sure its functioning. so we look at the future here for the economy. and i guess my second question for you which has been touched on from some of the other senators, mr. nachmanoff, is that one of the most serious cuts is the delay that is pointed out by mr. allen in the judicial proceedings. in "the new york times" this weekend highlighted in april a major terrorism trial in new york city handled by the federal defenders was postponed until january after the lawyers in that office told the judge the budget cuts left them short of the resources and the staff necessary to effectively litigate the case. has your office requested similar postponements? you see this going around the country at specifically as i
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talked about, we need to have the justice department function what will be the effect of having losing experienced public defenders do this sequestration cuts. >> thank you for the question, senator. i come from virginia which prides itself on speed. so asking for a continuance is and out looked upon favorably there is no doubt that the country that example from new york is not unique. there are many places where cases have been delayed. in my district as a result of the impact of the furloughs in the office of the sequester we have had for the first time to decline the cases. we've declined five cases and those cases have all been resource intensive, serious cases. those are exactly the cases the federal defender should be taking. we have the expertise to take those matters on and a national case, eligible, arms export
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control cases. the cases still need a lawyer and they will now be appointed from the panel and i agree with judge gindin gibbons. they play an important role in supporting the lawyers. but the fact of the matter is we view the work especially on the big case is most efficiently and cost effectively because we have the institutional ability and expertise to do that. what we see isn't just delays in the system already but we see the cost rising devotee and as things move forward the costs will rise dramatically as the defenders are forced to take the case is because there simply will be fewer of last petraeus genex thank you very much. >> thank you come senator klobuchar. as a follow-up to that point i would ask consent to enter into the record the federal public defenders sheet that contains among other things a study showing their representation by federal public defenders cost
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about 71% as much as comparable to representation by an appointed attorney. if i might, judge gibbons on another point the conference has the authority to reallocate the money from one account to another and the judiciary has in the past dealt with fiscal crisis by delaying the payment to the panel attorneys so as not to threaten the functioning of the office. or the pending cuts to the offices throughout the country justified with such action this year delaying the payment to the panel attorneys and in the long run would have a positive for a negative impact? >> as you probably know, for 13 the executive committee is the judicial conference is the entity within the judiciary that makes the decisions about the spending plan and financial plan. that isn't part of our work but we are privy to it and on occasion we are asked for input. this year after receiving a
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great deal of input from many different sources throughout the judiciary of the executive committee decided to defer panel payment for 15 days. the same sort of decision will have to be made how to handle the cuts in the defenders accounts for 2014 if there's not on the interim basis if there's not a budget in place by october october 1. so, that decision will have to be made once again. some of the things the executive committee will consider all are of course the impact that have already occurred to the defender program from the impact that are likely to occur if the deferrals or not made a. of the undesirable the deal of pushing the obligations that must be paid into the new appropriations year.
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we would like to be able to live within our means for a given year. it's not good for our appropriators standpoint either. but then you have the overall interplay between the two parts of that account. as the defenders are hard-pressed it's likely that we have already seen the rise is in the hammill representation that makes the cost very hard to control because you're not operating on historical data anymore. you are operating based on a situation that is occurring right before you. so it is a very hard decision that the executive committee would have to make in terms of what to do on the defender account. it's considered some other options, things like cutting the voucher by a certain percent and exploring whether or not the
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judicial conference has the authority to reduce the hourly rate and they are very reluctant to do that in the past because we work so hard to get that right and it's frankly hardly adequate. suggestible of complicated considerations by yes everything will be considered i'm sure to be a >> go into more detail how you struggle to deal with the mandate to cut the cost when frankly federal prosecutors not descenders determine the workload and when the personnel are such a large driver of the total budget. >> in this fiscal year we've undertaken a cost-cutting measures that i've talked about previously which is before going to the furloughs and before going to the layoff we try to eliminate every other area that the cut which is a very narrow band of cost we go back and
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renegotiate the expert rates. that is in the face of experts paid by the government sometimes twice or three times as much. we are concerned with quality. and mine employees understood one thing we were not going to do this compromise the representation that we gave to our clients. so after cutting training and travel, renegotiating and discounting we were left with still asking people to forego salary and that includes me and every employee in my office and that is true of others around the country but even that was not enough and we had three people take early retirement who had a combined 80 years of experience. we lost tremendous institutional knowledge with their retirement. i laid off an employee and have a military reservist that volunteered to go on active duty to assist the office.
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we have tremendously dedicated staff and that is true of the defenders around the country and they will do whatever it takes to defend our clients and protect this program. but they can't do it if i have to lay off 25, 30, 40% of them. >> thank you. senator sessions? >> i don't think you should have to lay off that many. a private corporation would recognize when one of their branches is facing a crisis in the work load with several big cases and demand more time and they would reassign somebody to it i think. i just talked to a person that said their big national company isn't hiring anybody until the gdp grows faster than 2% and the vacancies haven't been filled. companies are doing this all over the world so that the problem of justice and the
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department of the administrative office of the courts are not above that. we don't have the money to run the government and we aren't going to just keep raising taxes every time so that is the problem that we've got. it's very serious and i want to find out more about the public defenders because i think the hits have been pretty aggressive. i've heard from a number of sources. maybe we can deal with that. judge gibbons, birmingham, the northern district of alabama, they somehow manage their own buildings and rental space and they are very, very happy with it. and the gsa is and in the picture. they believe it saves money and the courts are more happy with it. as you discuss that, you and your colleagues? >> we try to do that whenever we can get into a situation to do it. we made efforts a number of
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years ago to extricate ourselves completely from gsa. we were unsuccessful. and so certainly we have looked for every opportunity that we can reasonably pursue to gain independence in managing our own facilities and i congratulate the court at birmingham for having gotten to that point. >> i can to the point of extending it and there was some concern about they were exactly correct we were able to maintain that and there was no doubt that every judge was absolutely confident it saved money and things ran better. >> we believe a situation where we were able to manage our own facilities would be very -- it would save money. it would promote good government. but we haven't been able to get there yet. >> i don't know where the cases are nationwide.
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in recent weeks we looked at the on the prosecution. they've been dropping. i looked at the bank fraud cases and they've gone down the over the last number of years. undergoing the trial that has been going on for a decade or more but those are remarkably low. you have situations here such as the circuit that has the lowest caseload in the country and the colleagues seem determined to fill the vacancy when the caseload per judge is less than half of the national average. so there may be some places we can save some money while at the same time the district courts and circuit courts. >> if i can address how we take
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that into account, we have a lot of work measurement formulas that determine or suggest to us to provide the number of staff a particular court needs and they respond to changes in the filings. so it's not like that we are constantly building up a higher number. >> the staff meeting on the judgment. in congress we set the number of judges. >> that is absolutely true. on the other hand the recommendations to you are also based on the change over time but the staff within the court and the clerk's office employees and the district bankruptcy appellate courts and the pretrial service officers the number of those we need are responsive among other things to filings and do change as the
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formulas are repeatedly applied. we are naturally going and have gotten some methodology that we have been using for determining resources needs in the defender offices but the judicial resources committee is undertaking a work measurement assessment of the descender offices to try to get a better handle on where the resources of to be allocated in the offices. it's going to take a couple years to get it done but we are moving in that direction. >> mr. chairman, thank you for your courtesy and excellent leadership. we are glad to have you here to cite a good example for us and now we ought to conduct our business today i would just conclude by saying when i was elected to the attorney general in 1994, my predecessor got so far behind on his bill they couldn't pay the electric bill and that all came out in october.
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but we had a crisis when i got elected and he hired a large number of people outside of the system and it amounted to a fair that the office. we were $5 million short on a 15 million-dollar budget so why germany did the office. i didn't know what would happen to the we've reorganized it, got rid of automobiles, reorganized the office and one person's i hate to admit that i'm doing more and enjoying it more but we put people to work and they still haven't gotten back to that number today, in 18 years ago. we think we can do things more efficiently and productively. my experience is sometimes we can surprise ourselves when we have to make fundamental changes and create efficiencies. i do believe the chief justice
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and most of the judiciary does believe in efficiencies and are working in that regard. it's odd that the department of justice in an entirel different agency than the office of court haven't cut their personnel and you are having to cut yours which is just one of the inefficiencies that sometimes it is occurring on the government and it makes it harder to reach level of efficiency the tax payers are entitled to. we have a great court system and it's going to be a tight time for the next several years. but 15 will be the progress year at least on the defense department budget i know how that goes and i think it's the same with you. 14, next year will be the worst defeat the work year and then a steady increase in funding for
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the next eight years or so on the cycle ultimately depending on congress. next year is going to be tight so i am glad to hear your concerns. >> thank you senator sessions. i have two more questions i will go to and before you return to asking questions i would ask consent to enter into the record eighth series of articles and letters i neglected from the media and advocacy groups. "new york times" editorial, the a.p., the hill and a january article from the federal bar association as well as a letter delivered today by a group called the justice prejudge gibbons if i could just one last question for you when making the decisions about how to cut, how does the judicial conference we help the need of the oracle three judges against the needs of article 1 such as the bankruptcy court which play an important role in delaware or for the federal defender
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services? >> node area receives more weight than another area. i mean, it's very much -- our process of asking for money is heavily governed or highly guy did is a better word of assessing the needs and the process of executing the budget and allocating the money to the court also governs the various formulas and allotments. but there is nothing in the system that for example values the work of an article prejudge more than the work of an article 1 judge nor is their anything that values the clerk's office more than the federal defender's office. the system isn't set up in that way. and i feel as confident of this
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decision making process as i do of any decision making process within the judiciary in terms of its ability to take all of the need, the interest of the court, the interest of the users of the court, the public-interest generally all of those things into account and do the best job we can of making a fair and equitable and prudent distribution of the limited resources. we feel as i said before that we have done a good job of our management. we have been looking at things all along as the senator sessions mentioned all along. our courts are staffed right now at 1999 levels. there's been fluctuations in the filing stream and the work load overall during that period that
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increased far more than our staffing has increased look at where we are today. >> we heard testimony today the sequestration has limited the ability to upgrade and maintain its information technology system. senator sessions referenced the change in the number of cases filed on line in the management being done on line but it's also an area where there has been reduction so help me understand if you will the current deficiencies in the courts i.t. system affect your client's ability to get reasonable resolution. and if the courts run out of money next year would that mean for the clients and for the reasonable and timely resolution of their case? >> the first issue is a significant one. senator sessions noted there has been progress the last decade or so to update the system where
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most of the filings use the system and the pleadings are done electronically. the problem we have seen already over the first decade or so of the system is it's become outdated. there are limitations how long the exhibits can be and many courts require and asked that we still submit actual hard copies of documents. those issues are being addressed but there are some limitations and there is no plan to improve the system that we can see from the civil side. on the federal courts icy courtrooms across the country whether it is a sophisticated system to explain exhibits or other technological lead vances if you will that are discarded because they simply aren't working or there aren't the personnel to have the time to fix them for the court proceeding and what we see is one or two personal for the court room but are overworked and i think there is a possible
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likelihood we will see transition and that with new people coming on. i have seen a loss of some of the resources of the courts' being made available to the civil practitioners. the second issue of the civil injury fees if the money isn't there and in essence it temporarily goes away, that raises the issue previously which is the justice delayed is justice denied. for the corporations and other individuals in particular when you have a dispute that can only be resolved by the federal court, that is the form under the united states government to go and result in issue. it is exceedingly difficult to have no time frame as to when that dispute will be resolved whether it is a patent holder and if they have to wait until they get royalties or for how long the case will go and if it is expensive to keep the litigation that becomes a real economic issue for the clients
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and the personnel. the idea that the civil jury trials may go away or temporarily go away its further delays. for example, you may have spent all this money to pay for lawyers and witnesses to be there, and suddenly the courts have to say not this week, not this month. and that ongoing delay causes of real resources that have to be spent by corporations and they don't have a way of planning. it's become a true crisis. >> thank you. frankly my concern is those delays also further drive the acceleration of the use of arbitration rather than federal court which has its own problems with lack of development and decision will wall and this privatization of the federal court system that's happening for the increase in turn to arbitration. i think a longer delay the more that happens. there is a range of consequences. human justice and systemwide. i would like to welcome the senator for his question.
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>> thank you mr. chairman. i apologize for being late and would ask a few questions. first by way of introduction, terence mccarthy, defender emeritus of the federal defender program for the northern district of illinois has been a close friend for many years. he's written be a lengthy letter about the impact of sequestration on his program, where a third of the 40 attorneys are going to be furloughed in some form and unable to be part of this process pity if he asked me to come to this hearing. it's particularly because of his letter that i wanted to make a point of coming. the judge gibbons given the fact the attorneys already have more resources available to them, the sequestration in the resource parody to appoint the calls and the question whether indigent defendants are getting full due process and adequate defense under the law i ask you this i guess on the 50th anniversary.
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>> certainly we are threatening to get to that point and the problem is made particularly acute. this year has been difficult for the defenders. when you use figures like one-third, they are having to plan based on the possibility some would say even the probability of the flat funding or the declined funding for 2014. they must make their decisions now so they will not be caught as they were in the 13 fiscal year midway through the year having to make a very dramatic adjustments. i think when you get to the point you have a small staff has these offices do where you have attorneys who have a big chunk of the staff wired not many alternative ways for an attorney to do his or her work you have
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to prepare the case and talk to the client and go to court. i don't know of any other options. i don't know many courts that have said it is optional. so when you have that level flexibility, you have the constrained funding and unpredictability. it's a scenario that can result very quickly in the dismantling of the system that has been a source of pride for the judicial system. >> let me ask you should the budget to be calibrated to the department justice budget? that is the funding means more cases are being brought to the federal court. >> that is an excellent question, senator. there is no doubt the function of federal defenders is tied to the charging decisions and funding of the department of
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justice. the suffering that we have endured this year and that we are going to next year has to be seen in the context of what is going to happen in the department of justice and the appropriations committee last week approved an increase for the department of justice and putting u.s. attorneys and the direct counterparts. the approval was for the 2 billion-dollar budget and 79 million-dollar increase. the statement was for the purpose of bringing more cases so we can expect the department will bring more cases and in a case like the northern district of illinois -- and i am humbled to be associated in many ways with mr. mccarthy who is a giant and a legend of the program and this is an office that goes back to 65. that office is facing potentially laying off one-third of its staff is unconscionable and it is strictly tied to what will happen in the u.s. attorney's office in the northern district of illinois where they have 152 federal
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prosecutors to the 19 federal defenders. if carol bruch is required to lay off staff, the ratio will be even more out of whack. will be more in balance and we have to ask ourselves can we have a fair system of justice? it may be thinking about the appropriations for the department of justice in the context of what the defender services account needs would be a very wise thing to do. >> it can lead to justice delayed and justice denied in terms of trying to sink up the investment in the prosecution resources while we diminish the investment on the defender resources. i might just add that i had breakfast on saturday morning with the chairman of the legal service. 2 million civil indigent civil defendants appeared in court in the state of new york last year seeking the attorney and there was no one.
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they went underrepresented. it is a different standard but it calls into question many things. first the budgeting and second i believe it is a call to arms for the profession to step up in a lot of areas here on the legal service side but even our conversation. i would like to ask if i can, judge gibbons, we have a special challenge in chicago, violent crime is on the rise and i talked about some legislation to deal with begun tracing and things like that. i am concerned as i review the testimony the sequestration is forcing reductions and staff resources and federal pretrial services and also probation offices. am i right to be concerned these reductions may lead to violent individuals working the streets in chicago without adequate supervision? >> you are quite right to be concerned.
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the term probation officer sounds harmless but these are law enforcement officers who have come to supervise increasingly dangerous defendants over the years. the various methodologies for assessing the risk factors continue to rise dramatically. the officers in the 2012 supervise 187,311 defendants' that's expected to rise to 191,000. a number of them are extremely violent. we are already down by about 7% of the staff in those offices. it to the extent we must further make cuts in those areas we have fewer officers to supervise
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increasingly larger numbers of people particularly of concern in that account is we have also had to cut 20% of what is called the law enforcement account which funds drug treatment and mental health, drug treatment and testing mental health treatment and electronic monitoring, gps location monitoring. so we have had to really seriously compromised some of the funds that go towards keeping the folks that we supervise out of further trouble to the extent we can. we have had to completely zero out the funds for the second cost funding which provides things like transitional housing, assistance with getting jobs. we just can't do that anymore. yes this is a public safety risk throughout the country.
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>> i'm just going to close by saying went to peoria illinois which is a basic midwestern mid-sized city where they are dealing with crime by covering all of the probation and parole for face-to-face meetings to say we know you are out there and we are also telling you here is a person who helped you get the training and education and job you need and here is her cell phone number. so it has had a dramatic impact. we are going the opposite direction putting fewer people in those capacities to try to find transition life, transition opportunities for people who really need an alternative in their lives at this moment. so i'm troubled by what it means in terms of the crime rates and a little way and around the nation. thank you all for your testimony. senator coons, thank you for holding the hearing. >> thank you for the broad
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experience and commitment to this issue and so many others facing us as we wrestle with the budget challenges and the challenges that face our country. how we solve our budget challenges has a real implication for how we also continue to deliver on the fundamental commitment to justice. mr. nachmanoff, i wanted to ask in conclusion there's been some comments made by senators here better just incredulous that it's actually possible that there can be defender offices facing in the coming year the reduction of staff by as much as a third. if i heard correctly at the outset judge gibbons said there's a thousand position reductions in the defender service nationwide some through attrition and some through layoffs and it seems that there might be a greater reduction of going forward and i've also heard about the senior defenders taking early retirement or
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firing themselves in order to avoid more significant cuts for junior staff who are not in a position to take the costs to the reservists going to active duty how does the loss of institutional knowledge of capability affect the ability of the federal defender service to continue its representation? and how is it possible that among all of the different functions that we are talking about here within the court's could be facing a further cut of 23% just walk me through that if you what. >> with regard to the layoff referenced to the court staff in general but federal defenders are facing devastation in the coming year and that's because if we continue the resolution of the funding and we have the deferment that is due next year and depending upon the decisions on the allocation of the
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resources, federal defenders will be bearing the brunt of the shortfall and because we have so many fixed cost it is going to result in these massive layoffs. when you had what i describe regarding severance and lump-sum payments for the annual leave and unemployment it's even harder for the defendants to manage those budgets, so there is no question the core value of the federal defender program is imperiled. this year i appreciated 2014 will be difficult and maybe things will get better. for federal defenders will be impossible to put the system back together for the reason that you have articulated and does the senator referred to cut the great jerry mccarthy who's now the defender emeritus there are many people like him in the system who have years of experience who are admired by the judges in their courts and by prosecutors and court personnel for their integrity
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and expertise. we've lost several defenders, stephen the northern district of ohio did terminate himself in order to preserve the staff and other defenders announced early retirement whether they will be leaving. i have no doubt that that will increase and it's not just the defenders, it is the rank and file, the lawyers that go to court every day. it's the support staff, the paralegals, those that allow us to do the job that meet the constitutional requirements to the if we lose what it is 25% or 35% or 40% of the staff with our program which is very small that will be a loss that is permanent. not simply asking them to come back we will have lost institutional knowledge and expertise that can never be recovered and that would be a tremendous tragedy not just for the clients but for the entire
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court system. >> thank you, mr. nachmanoff and judge gibbons. i am a very grateful for the testimony here today. a fi understanding summary what we have heard is our current trajectory of how the sequester is being implemented and the federal court system it's doing harm and it's been laying of the time the and responsible resolution of civil cases, significantly reducing the staff available to both our ogletree and oracle one judges and to the operation of their courts and in particular is an imposing and unreasonable and a lasting impact on the public defender service. it is penny wise because we are placing the senior defenders with pamela turney is that may cost us more in the short term and as you detailed laying people off may actually cost people more in the long term. i leave a hearing today deeply
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concerned how the sequester is impacting justice in the united states and grateful for the attendance of my colleagues and hopeful but we can find some resolution if not the broader challenges of the budget and replacing the sequester or something i hope that we will do but in a more focused way to dealing with the specific issues of the judiciary in the american system of justice as you have raised today. i'd also like to think the interested stakeholders for the record which previously referenced. the role of the judiciary and the federal public defenders in the system of government as we look to be careful stewards of taxpayer funds we have to make sure that we provide sufficient funding to enable the judiciary a separate branch to fulfill its important constitutional duty. but that the record will remain open for a week for any members that wish to submit additional testimony or questions on the topic and i am hereby adjourning
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>> [inaudible conversations] bradley manning
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saying that the united states is deeply concerned by reports that hundreds of civilians had been killed in an attack by the syrian government forces in putting by the use of chemical weapons earlier today. and today earnest said we are formally requesting that the united nations urgently investigate the new allegation. expecting to hear more on this news out of syria and the white house at the white house briefing at 12:45 eastern on our companion network c-span. as we approach the 50th anniversary of the march on washington and martin luther
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king jr.'s i have a dream speech the good jobs coalition hosts a discussion this afternoon on civil rights and economic inequality and the relevance of dr. king's vision today. live at 6 p.m. eastern on c-span2. early on we said we have a 16-acre piece of land we have to put something on that or maybe
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not. it was what can we do with it. and everyone wanted a say in that. and so very quickly, people have a promise to receive public input to generate a master plan. at the same time that was going on, however, like i said before you had larry silverstein in the office, running of the port authority and they really believed in the importance of the commercial space that was destroyed. they wanted to make sure lower manhattan remained an international financial hub. and they believed as an order for it to remain that reputation, they had to rebuild all of this commercial space. ..
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>> this is just under three hours. >> so, ladies and gentlemen, we do expect a fairly full crowd, but, you know, things do start on washington, d.c. time, so at some point if we get folks who come in and we don't have enough seats available in the back, i may ask you all just to raise your hands so that we can identify seats that are unoccupied next to you so that we can get people seated in an expeditious a fashion as possible. well, let me welcome you all to this unfinished march symposium. my name is christian dorsey, i'm the director of external affairs at the economic policy institute, and i'll be your host and master of ceremonies for this afternoon's symposium which really is a convening of some of
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the most incredibly talented, thoughtful speakers and commentators on issues affecting folks of color, workers, as well as politics in america. this is a symposium that has taken many months to prepare and is really the brain child and inspiration of epi's director of the program on race, ethnicity and the economy, algernon austin, who you'll hear from later on when we close the program, but you will also hear from as part of our first panel this afternoon. let me get some logistics out of the way first. i see people did notice the refreshments in the rear of the room. those are open and available to you throughout the symposium. if you need to use the restrooms, it's best to exit the rear of the room, take a right, walk down the hallway. you'll come to a corridor at which you'll take a left, and you'll see both the men's and
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ladies' rooms. if you have a need for wireless connection in the room, you can connect to the afl's public wi-fi, and the ss id that you'll look for is baker, and i will say this slowly and then repeat it, the password is labor, l-a-b-o-r dot 815. las -- that is labor.815. and in what is truly a landmark for epi, we are also going to have some live tweeting going on at this event. so if you would like to do that, participate and join the conversation on twitter, you can do so in one of two ways. you can follow @epi, you can follow @economicpolicy, and you can follow us on twitter. or to join this specific conversation you can use the
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hashtag unfinished march. everybody got all that? okay. so after our symposium which includes a couple of welcome remarks, we will have three panel discussions, and at the end of panel discussions, we will have a reception. so thank you all for joining us today and spending your evening with us. now, to get us started let's think about the march on washington. it certainly stands as a seminal moment in the history of the american civil rights movement. yet as celebrated as it is, it is often misremembered or probably it's better to say incompletely remembered as only a gone straight for civil rights -- as only a demonstration for civil rights that is embodied by the last section of dr. king's or what we now call dr. king's "i have a dream" speech. now, as important as that was, there was much more that was significant about that day.
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remember, of course, that the march on washington was the march for jobs freedom, jobs came first. that was a unifying agenda that coalesced people of all races, all faiths, brought together organized labor and people from every single region of this country. and though the march had been conceived by a. phillip randolph more than two decades before, the 1963 effort was organized in just eight weeks. eight weeks. now, how were they able to do that? how were they able to in just two months organize an effort that brought more than 250,000 people to the nation's capital, at that time the largest gathering this city had ever seen by a factor of ten. so with next month marking the 50th anniversary of the march on washington, we are pleased and privileged to convene some of the nation's foremost thinkers
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to appropriately put the 1963 march into context and to examine the economic conditions that are facing people of color today and to do what seems to be so difficult for so many of us, and that is have a frank talk about how race affects our public policy as well as our political discourse. now, to open us officially, i would like to welcome arlene holt-baker, the executive vice president here at the afl-cio. now we are, of course, in arlene's house today. so we'd like to thank her, first of all, for opening up the afl's hospitality. but more than that, we are just prejudiced to have her -- privileged to have her as part of this program. now, arlene was approved unanimously as executive vice president to fill out a term in 2007 and then reelected in her own right to a full term in 2009 making her the first african-american to be elected to one of the federation's big
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three highest offices and the highest ranking african-american woman in the labor with movement. now, that had culminated what had been more than 30 be years of experience as a union and a grassroots organizer with a resumé of accomplishment that is far too broad to mention. but it was critical at winning gains, crucial gains at both the national -- i'm sorry, the local and the national level for workers in the form of negotiating contracts, securing fair wages and insuring gender pay equity. so to bring us greetings and to get us started, please welcome arlene holt-baker. [applause] >> well, good evening to all of you, and i do want to welcome you to the house of labor. i welcome you here on behalf of my partners here at the afl-cio, president richard trumka, the
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secretary-treasurer liz schuler, our executive counsel and our 11 million members. the afl-cio we are so very proud to be one of the cosponsors of tonight's symposium along with the economic policy institute. it is only fitting that the symposium is being held in the house of labor as the mobilizing and economic demands of the march can be traced to the iconic african-american labor leader, the late a. phillip randolph. president of the brotherhood of sleeping carporters and vice president of the afl-cio to. and his trusted and brilliant field coordinator and organizer, the late bayard rustin. christian, that's how you can -- within eight weeks -- have a march. [laughter] you get some good organizers together. but 50 years ago a. phillip randolph and the other planners
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of the march on washington reminded our nation that millions of our citizens, black and white, were unemployed. the flyer from the march on washington for jobs and freedom carried this quote, and i quote: discrimination and economic deprivation plague the nation and rob all people, negro and white, of dignity and self-respect. as long as black workers are disenfranchised, ill-housed and denied education and are economically depressed, the fight of white workers for a decent life will fail. end of quote. today, 50 years since the march on washington, millions of working families of all hues, genders and immigrant status are struggling to find decent jobs and decent wages that can support and sustain themselves and their families. they want an economic model of shared prosperity for all.
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fifty years since the march on washington, working families including our veterans still need access to decent and affordable housing. fifty years after the march on washington, working families in our communities still want access to quality public education for all our children. and 50 years ago, the march called for a massive federal work and training program, and today we still need massive investment in our infrastructure. fifty years ago the march called for an increase in the minimum wage, and that is our call today. we think about it -- [applause] 50 years ago on washington we heard the cries of freedom. but today we still hear those cries, sisters and brothers. we hear the cry for freedom to have a voice at work.
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freedom from voter suppression. freedom for marriage equality. freedom to come out of the shadows and contribute and live the american dream. and freedom to walk down the streets of america without being profiled. [applause] the march is unfinished, and hopefully tonight, we will -- among many of our nations -- have a conversation about what we must do to finish the march be toward justice and shared prosperity. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, arlene. it is now my pleasure to
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introduce to deliver us some appropriate introductory remarks mr. keith ellison, congressman keith ellison, who represents the fifth district from minnesota in the united states house of representatives. congressman ellison is a member of the house financial services committee and is providing some diligent, progressive oversight of our nation's financial services and housing industries as well as wall street. he also serves on the house democratic steering and policy committee advising the entire democratic caucus on its agenda. and he's also serving as cochair of the democratic progressive caucus along with raul who has worked diligently to make sure that progressive values are at the forefront of the national conversation. but that's all kind of biographical stuff. i think to really understand congressman ellison, you just really need to know that he gets it. was amen. [applause] amen.
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when the esteem at which the public holds congress is at an all-time low, when people feel disconnected from their representation, well, any mention of that has to have an exclusion for present company. because representative ellison gets it. he gets that the economy is not working for everyone, he gets why prosperity is not broadly shared, and he gets what government has a moral imperative to do about it. congressman ellison is a big thinker, someone who is always challenging his staff and others to come up with a way to solve the most complex problems. he doesn't run away from them. he's a convener of his colleagues and organizations to try and get things done working within the confines of the system and finding creative ways to work outside of it. he is a proposer of legislation willing to take the very big ideas and to put them through the legislative process.
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and he is an inspirer, an inspirer to the progressive community that sometimes feels as be our champions are nowhere to be found. so thank you very much for joining us today. i'd like to introduce to you representative keith ellison. [applause] >> thank you for reminding us all that it wasn't just the march on washington for freedom, it was the march on washington for jobs and economic freedom and freedom of all sorts. important to bear this in mind because we live in a time when i believe we're really almost at a zero moment in which the concentration of wealth is
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coalesced around such a very small number of people, and the vast oceans of desperate americans are just clamoring for some sort of answers that it threatens the very democracy that we hold dear. and we are lurching toward plutocracy which is rulership of the rich. this is not the vision of the to founders, it's certainly not the vision of the people who organized the march on washington for jobs and economic freedom. but even though it wasn't their vision, it's our responsibility here today to do something about it, do something about it. i'm not here to cry about it, here to plan, organize and inspire ourselves and each other to do something about it. all types of crisis we're looking at right now. but i want to tell you, there's some good things going on too. just last week, just last week i
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had the honor and the privilege of standing in front of the union station building, which is a federally-owned building, standing with workers making $7.25 an hour, but they're not broke down, and they're not bent down. they are standing strong and demanding that they get paid fair. and they're saying that in america, the richest country in the history of the world, you ought to be able to work full time and feed your family. not too much to ask. [applause] not too much to ask. not too much to ask from the richest country in the history of the world. but even before that i was, on last monday, i was in milwaukee, and in milwaukee we had people who were working for mcdonald's, burger king, ruby tuesdays, a whole bunch of them, and the theme was also wage theft. some of these folks are not satisfied with just paying these
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folks $7.25. they want to give them their pay on a debit card and then every time they swipe, a dollar is gone. and these folks are saying we're not going to take it, we can't buy pampers, we can't buy groceries, we can't buy rent, we can't even live with this. and rather than stand here and take it and suffer in silence, we're going to stand up, and we're going to do something about it. action is what we need to need today, you know? let me tell you, there's some things coming down the pipe that i think martin luther king and the organizers of the march on washington for jobs and freedom would want us to do. i think a. phillip randolph would expect that you and i would stand up here and say that this trans-pacific partnership thing that's coming down the line -- [applause] is a problem. [laughter] and if it's so good, why won't they let us see it? i'm a member of congress, they won't let me see it. and there's, i've got a friend named alan grayson, he says i want to see this thing.
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you'll see it. [laughter] and so, you know, these are things that we have got to fight against. we've got to fight against chained cpi. this is stealing from from our seniors. [applause] this is taking our seniors' money that they have worked hard. we've got to stop people from letting them call it an entitlement. this is an earned benefit that working people struggled for. we've got to say, you know, you cannot rob the people of detroit of their pensions. they worked hard for these pensions. [applause] and let me tell you something, if they, if we stand by while they take the detroiters pensions, they'll be taking our pensions. so don't think it won't happen to us. if they can set a precedent, they'll do it to us again. you know, let me just tell you this: inequality is a scourge on our society. and, yes, we're talking about low-wage workers making $7.25 an hour, we've got to do something about it. but there's the other side of that, the other side of that is that some people are doing
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pretty good. so between 1979 and 2007, 20, you know, a period of a it little bit less than 20 years, real income rose by 240% for those at the top 1. it's a shameful thing. it is a moral issue. and we have got to fight back at this. let me tell you this, our economy is capable be of producing -- capable of producing enough good paying jobs for everyone. [applause] our economy can do it. this economy can do it. but we can't do it while we're getting trade deals that are shipping our jobs overseas that just leaned on us if a few months ago for this south korean deal. they said it's going to create jobs. oh, here's the latest on that. you know, it's already cost 40,000 american jobs. i'm not against trade. american workers can compete with workers around the world.
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but they're not really trade deals, they're really investment deals between interbe national corporations -- international corporations. they're not trying to say, look, let's figure out ways when you can buy what we've got and you can buy what you've got, they're saying the most unfortunate worker in the world to make stuff, and we'll sell it to y'all in america, and we'll keep the big margin. and then we'll use the margin, the extra money we get not just to buy boats and planes and more houses, but to buy politicians. [laughter] which'll give us more loopholes and keep down the minimum wage and all kinds of stuff like that. in otherwoe arat a moment when there are no allies. there's just us. many of us who are straight, you know, our gay friends say that we're allies because we stand for equality for all people. and many in the civil rights movement, some blacks would refer to whites as allies because they would come down and help fight for civil rights too.
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and some men who stand for the rights movement could be considered allies because we're not subject to discrimination, but we stand with our sisters and demand that they get equal pay. but in this fight for america's soul and dignity and economic fairness, there are no allies. we are all in this thing. because, yes, it is absolutely true that african-americans got hit in the foreclosure crisis harder, but a whole lot of white people lost their houses too. and yes, it's true that you may see an overconcentration of women among low-wage workers, but there's a lot of men getting paid nothing too. and, yes, it's true that the people who are losing their pensions may be older people, but there's a lot of young people who would like to retire one day. we are, there is no allies here. this is a movement that we all must embrace, and we all have got to put pressure on.
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i'm saying we need a national infrastructure bank to rebuild this nation's infrastructure be so we don't, so we can drive over bridges that don't fall into the river. [applause] we need to raise the minimum wage up to at least $15 an hour, and then we need to index it to inflation. oh, here's a better idea, let's index it to executive pay. [laughter] [applause] that's where it really needs to go. we need to stop these trade deal cans which ship our jobs overseas and say no to the tpp, and we need to shine a light on it. if it's so good, let us see it. and we need to make sure that we protect income security for our seniors, and and we need to fight, fight, fight for the right to collectively bargain so that we can negotiate on the job for fair working conditions and decent pay. let's pass the employment free choice act. [applause] this is something we have not forgot about and we are
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dedicated to. enough from me, let's hear from our excellent panel. thank you for being here today. [applause] >> see what i mean? he gets it. [laughter] and we are proud to have congressman ellison who has since 2012 been a member of the epi board of directors so we can rightfully claim a little piece of him as well along with the progressive movement, as well as minnesota's fifth district. we are going to move straight ahead into our first panel of the evening, so i'd like to invite mr. lang, mr. austin and ms. holt baker to step on the stage, and we'll get you micked up. and i will deliver some introductions while they're getting ready to begin. and, arlene, with apologies, you only get one introduction today, okay? all right. [laughter] so our moderator for this panel is arlene holt-baker, and joining her in this conversation we have algernon austin who, as
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i mentioned briefly, directs epi's program on race, ethnicity and the economy. which really is epi's initiative to advance policies that enable people of color to fully participate in the american economy and to benefit equitably from all gains that result from prosperity. as the director of this program, algernon authors reports, oversees reports and policy analyses on the economic condition of people of color. you've probably seen that gorgeous mug on all kinds of media outlets talking thoughtfully on issues relating to race and the economy, racial justice. we also have on this panel mr. clarence lang who is an associate professor of african and african-american studies at the university of kansas. his research interests are particularly appropriate for this panel as they are working class black history, african-american social
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movements. and he is currently working on a volume titled "reframing randolph: a reassessment of a. phillip randolph's legacies to labor and to black freedom." so to start off our symposium with lessons learned or understandings about the forgotten history of the march on washington, i'm now going to turn it over to arlene. [applause] >> thank you so much, clarence. you know, we've said this evening again it's been referenced by a number of us that historically people often think of the march on washington with the "i have a dream" speech of dr. martin luther king. but what has been lost in that is the role that labor played, the role that women played and the role that the working class played in organizing the march. but specifically, clarence, i'd like to pose this question to you. i'd like you to share with us the origins of the march on washington prior to 1963 and the role that labor, a. phillip
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randolph and other labor and civil rights leaders played in what was called then the march on washington movement. and as you elaborate on that, i'd also like you to elaborate a little bit more on the role that working class people played and a focus on the role that women played. >> okay. you're going to have to stop me -- [laughter] i'm going to -- i'll probably answer that over the course of a couple questions, but i'll start by saying i think that the immediate origins of the '63 march on washington for jobs and freedom actually begins during the second world war. in 1941 when the united states enters the war against the axis powers and the u.s. economy which had been mired in this depression begins to mobilize for war, what we see are african-americans being continually shut out of paying
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jobs in the defense industries. then there's also the issue of the ways in which african-americans were marginalized in the military in terms of the roles they were allowed to play and not play. well, a. phillip randolph who by this time -- and he has a history that predates this, so i'm giving you the short answer -- who is by this period of time, i would argue, becoming if he's not yet become sort of the key black labor leader, certainly, but actually a key civil rights activist. he's the president of the brotherhood of sleeping carporters which is the first all-black union to negotiate a contract with a major corporation, in this case the pullman company. and randolph and his cohort, they argue that, obviously, in a war that's fought against fascism, right, against totalitarianism, against notions of white supremacy that there has to be some consistency with
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the goals that are being fought abroad and the practices at home. and this is part of what people refer to as the double v campaign, double victory. victory against fascism abroad, but also victory against jim crow, racial apartheid in the united states. and so then he, this sort of develops that something needs to be done. and what occurs is that randolph through the brotherhood of sleeping carporters forms the coalition made up of a number of organizations the march on washington movement. and the ultimatum is this, and franklin delano roosevelt's the president at the time. that either the president will end discrimination in the defense industries and the armed forces, or the brotherhood of sleeping carporters through the march on washington movement will bring -- and the number grows, right? 5,000, 10,000 people to d.c. to effectively expose this contradiction in the war effort and to make this demand and
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potentially, also, how would we put be it, to make things difficult in terms of business as usual. and to make a long story short, roosevelt issues executive order 8802 which outlaws discrimination on the basis of race, national origin -- not just african-american, but national origin -- broadly considered in the defense industries. the military's not too segregated, that comes later. but randolph accepts this, so in exchange for the executive order, the march is suspended. and there's an agency that's created out of this executive order, the federal -- fair employment practice commission that serves as a watchdog agency to see that this order is carried out. now, what happens, and i'll wrap up, but what happens is that even though the march suspended, i think people get this mixed up sometimes, there are chapters of the march on washington movement that form in cities across the united states. and so while the planned march
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to d.c. is suspended at the local level -- i study st. louis where you have one of the strongest march on washington units in the nation, but other places, chicago, what have you -- what happens is that those local agencies, those local committees actually take the fight to a local level. so they march on defense plants because, of course, even with the executive order and this agency that's created, well, businesses don't just comply. they have to be forced at the local level. so that becomes the origin. and there's some progress that's made, and by the end of the war the march on washington movement is disbanded. so we move forward to the 19, the later 1940s. randolph is engaged in similar action around desegregating the military. this occurs during the administration of harry s. truman. so many of his contemporaries and people, his contemporaries of the time are critical of the fact that no march occurs, but to say that it failed as some have said in the past i think
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sort of misses what was happening at the local level and the significance of that executive order which is the first major interbe vex by the presidency since the emancipation proclamation. .. >> the question to you is, did
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the civil rights activist think they achieved the goals at the end of the 60s? >> right. yeah, so, there has been, i would say, i think an incomplete representation of the civil rights movement. on the one hand, you know, people struggling tremendously, people fought, died, and we did have tremendous success because of the 1963 march on washington for jobs. we did get the voting rights act and civil rights act in part because of the pressure of the 1963 march in washington, so that was a tremendous success. unfortunately, however, i feel that some historians have focused just on the success and have ignored everything else, but i feel if you really want to respect the march and the
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struggle, those who fought and died to recognize everything they have achieved. if you just look at the demands of the march, there were at least four of the seven demands we didn't achieve, and those are decent housing. we still have problems there. adequate and integrated education. our schools are still segregated and increasing in some area -- increasingly segregated, and we still do not have full employment, and that was one of the key demands that motivated the director of the march, and the demand for a living wage, a minimum wage that can lift the family out of poverty. we still -- we're still fighting for that. today, the minimum wage is less than what it was in 1963. there is no reason for this
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country to have a minimum wage that in real dollars is less than what is in 1963. it's about $2, a little more than $22 -- $2 less than it was in 1968. we have a strong, growing economy, and workers more productive than in the past, and yet the minimum wage is lower than what it was in the 1960s. that's a real problem. you can even look to martin luther king junior. now, martin luther king is such a tremendous and powerful figure. you know, what we're trying to do is talk to really recognizing the other leaders and, really, in the 40s, as professional lang said, gilibrand was thee leader after success was pressuring fdr to do the executive order, he was the man.
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you know, he was -- so it's important to remember that history, but even martin luther king, what was he doing when he died? he was fighting for sanitation workers, and he was organizing the poor people's movement so it's clear he didn't think he would finish. either, i would say, if you look at the demands of the march, it's clear that there are many things we hoped for we have yet to achieve. >> can i jump on that question? >> yes, and then i have a follow-up to this. >> oh, well, go on. >> no, go ahead. [laughter] >> when people talk about king's activities in 1968, his support for the sanitation worker strike and the poor people's campaign that he was mobilizing at the time, i think oftentimes people see that as a new development in the movement and the point is that, in fact, those politics were shot through the movement from the beginning. if we think, for example, the
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montgomery busboy cot, for better for worse, viewedded as a beginning of the modern civil rights movement, well, that actually, that boycott is built on black domestics; right? black working class women who rode the busses in montgomery more than any other group in that city, so without them, there would not have been a successful month come rights -- montgomery boy boycott. there's the united automobile workers. they are the other organizations that randolph, himself, created, a spearhead of the 63 march, which was geared towards fair and full employment. your present speaks to the aims of the particular organization that the labor movement and leadership in the structure should be representative of working people in the united states. these things continue all through the movement, and i -- i really want to emphasize this
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point that i think we can see this even more clearly if we move beyond the national organizations and if we look at the local, the the local organizing that occurs so you will see chapters of the national association for the advancement of colored people, the naacp, which oftentimes we think of as kind of a state organization, perhaps, i mean, it's a necessary organization, particularly, at this moment, but you'll see that you have trade unionists who are leading local chapters of the naacp. the cities, there's a name, earnest calleway, for example, involved in the teamster's union, a major political force in the city; right? jimmy notwithstanding, it's complicated; right? but also leading the local chapter of the naacp. you see that in a number of different cities, and the world of black working class women who are domestics, who are janitors,
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you have all walks of life, and, particularly, again, looking at the local level, certainly the clergy, certainly people who we might consider coming from the stable black middle class, certainly are there, and their roles, but the base of this thing, the base of this movement, certainly the period i look at, the 30s through the 70 70s, is working class, everyday people, inside as well as outside of the labor movement. even in cases where they were not able to organize through the mainstream labor movement; right? they created their own organizations, premised on a working class agenda, a fair and full employment; right? community colleges, and public schools, health care, on down the line until the march on washington in 1963, again, is a moment that brings together that sort of represents this grassroots working class base. i wanted to make sure i said that because that was part of the question that you'd asked
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previously. >> that's right, and i was going to bring you back to the role of the women, and you addressed that, and listening to you, certainly, when you think about the sanitation workers and that history, it was the women, the role that they played even then in supporting and making sure that that strike continued forth. could you, since i asked you about women, we talked about them generally, but is there a particular woman or women that you could lift up, the role they played in the movement? some come to mind for me, but, certainly, those who were part of the march on washington move met that were working class women and a part of civil rights organizations also. >> in literature, we are learning more names so the first person who comes to my mind is eel la baker who played a significant role in creating what i think is the most important organization of that period, which is the student
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nonviolent coordinating committee. they were important, in my view, the most important, and that organization grew out of the efforts to make sure that young people had a space to organize to make mistakes and to, i mean, they essentially were the storm troopers of the movement. they went into the mississippi delta where other organizations were afraid to go. certainly her, out of the mississippi delta, sharecropping family, who went to school just one day period in her entire life. i would argue it's one of the most eloquent spokesperson for the aims of the movement. the speech given at the democratic national convention in 1964, you can youtube it. if you've not heard it, hear it. it is the most eloquent statement that i've heard, courageous woman.
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i mean, there's definitely her, but, again, i think if we move from the national level to the local level, the list grows and grows. one of the most exciting things about doing this history, being involved in this scholarly production of literature about the sighful rights movement is that we have a lot of good stuff coming out that is talking about the local activists who are anonymous for the most part, but without whom you would not have had a national movement, and if we go back to the point of where we are at today, clearly, it's a point where we have to begin to think in very, very local terms that we're at a situation, i would say comparable to where were, where the actions will be at the state levels. whether it's in kansas, and, you know, kansas is, i would argue, the laboratory for some of the worst stuff that's happening, but the goal is to be checked. you follow that. as the state of the other
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governors of that state, you know, follow texas. i hope i have a job when i get back, but i'm tenure so i should be fine. [laughter] >> can i just jump in? >> yeah. >> i think talking about the role of women in the march on washington movement, there's a new book by william jones titled "march on washington" released today that does an excellent job about talking about women in the march on washington movement, and one woman he highlights who worked with randolph around trying to make the fair employment practices committee permanent was polly murray. >> yes. >> she worked with randolph, and she's also one of the pioneers in civil disobedience. in 1940, she was arrested on a bus for refusing to give up her seat. we know that's an important action in civil rights history,
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but she was one of the pioneers, and she was also part of the workers' defense league. she has a long history, but she's one of the women that william jones lifts up in his book. >> i guess from the historical perspective, we have to recognize there were -- there was not one woman that had a speaking role at the 1963 march on washington. there was one that had a role of introducing other women, but not any woman with a speaking role. i think we have come a far cry from that. >> yeah, absolutely. >> today, you know, i'd like to ask you, congressman spoke to the need for coalition, and we talked about the need for coalition. we're starting to see now in the last two years a number of marchs if you will, workers taking to the streets, the right to be able to bargain, immigrants taking to the streets for the need for comprehensive
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immigration reform. those were taken to the streets to push for marriage equality, and recently, certainly, we have seen young people, their parents and community take to the street around trayvon martin. >> yes. >> my question to you is, is there an opportunity to leak these issues together and do we have what i would call not just a moment around issues, but is there an opportunity to build a movement? >> oh, that's a really tough question, but i would -- [laughter] i would go back to congressman's point where he said that there are no allies. really, the issue of the economic crisis that we're facing is broad based. it really links -- it's a thread that we've threw all the issues
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that you mentioned, and so one of the groups that are most exploited in the labor market today are the undocumented immigrant population because they are undocumented. addressing their needs from a labor perspective is really important. young people, again, another group that's suffering tremendously begin -- given the weak economy, you know, so i think very broadly we're in a serious economic crisis that affects groups across the lines. the incarcerated and the exoffender population have, again, a very difficult time finding work within the economy, and we really need, i think, the spirit of the march on washington, you know, was that, look, we need a job. we need to provide a job for
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everyone who wants to work, and i think people across the demographic groups are facing that struggle today about how can we find a job given this economy. also, once we have full employment, that brings benefits across the board. you know, when you have a tight labor market, wages grow up, and some of that concentration of income and wealth that congressman ellison talked about can be reversed by having a full employment economy. >> let me ask you, clarence, when you think about these kind of following up on what was whraid out, when you think about the activity seen in communities today and think of the local
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movement, to start locally and build nationally, what do you believe are some of the sparks that are out there that give you hope that we could really build a movement that continues the march and ultimately finishes it? >> so i'll start with the fact that it was mentionedded earlier about the food service workers. i'm seeing in my local community, in the metropolitan area, i live in lawrence, kansas, but this is separate of the kansas city metro area, there's a lot of activity percolating on that. i think people are moving in that direction. i think, if we think about the, sort of the aftermath of the recent supreme court ruling under the voting rights act, i think that that creates -- it's a crisis, but it also creates possibly, not possibly, but it creates an opportunity, i think, for people to go back to the wood shed to organize, and i think part of the organization has to be, obviously, around
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restoring the vote; right? protecting that, fighting against voter id laws, but as part of that in taking back the vote, the importance of taking the vote back, which is why there's been an attempt to shrink the electoral, is that we have the right to clerkive bargaining. that has to be part of the agenda as well. that's the reason we have to take back the vote because we know that, for example, this rise in american elector at that people talk about, people of color, women, they make up a dynamic sector of the labor market, think about service workers and the like. these things, we argue, are very much interconnected for the right to vote, to collective by bargain, and, in fact, people are making the argument given attacks recently o that occur -- that occurred on the national labor relations board, that perhaps one of the agendas could
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be making the right to vote amending local, state level civil rights laws to include the right to vote as well. how that all plays out, we'll see. that's a political question. i think that these things are certainly interrelated. i would argue that the biggest thing now, i would argue, is this issue of mass incarceration. i mentioned this at the lunch chon because, in fact, i would argue you don't have a trayvon martin situation without the phenomena of mass incarceration which brought in its wake racial profiling and reinscription of black criminalization, and so i think we have our plate full, and we have to find ways when we talk about race, we're talking about class, and talking about class, it's gender and race, because, indeed, think, for example, the issue of a woman's right to choose, i i'll go there. that's an issue that has to be erased, and it's an issue to do
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with class in terms of the decision that people make about their bodies, ect., what have you. it's not an issue about class there, race there, gender there, sexuality there, that these things are oftentimes colliding, perhaps, but i would say just as often intersecting and finding those moments where we can see these things coming together. the food service workers are one, the vote, i think, very much critical to that, and, also, if i might add, very, very quickly, this issue, i think, everyone, whether you are black or white, we all have an issue -- we all have an interest, a stake, and, really sort of fighting back against this kind of -- this sort of sanctioning of arbitrary violence, because i would argue that as an african-american his tore your #*ian -- historian, black people have historically been a laboratory where things for better or worse work out affect the rest of the population. think about the ability of the people to shoot down someone who
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is minding his own business and to walk away with an acuttal, let's note think that doesn't have, for example, the possibility of coming back on people who are organizing for collective bargaining rights, let's not forget that the labor movement in the united states was one of the most violent periods in the world. struggles to took place in the late 19th century, and so if we allow this kind of tragedy to occur, and that becomes a precedent, there's nothing to say that when people organize for the right to unionize, for collective bargaining, those forms of violence won't be visited on them as well. >> thank you. [applause] >> epi, you think about the policy and connected it to policy. again, thinking about the moment we're in and the opportunity to address concerns of so many that are crying for freedom, whether
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it's the women in texas and virginia, the workers in wisconsin, and lately, certainly the bankruptcy in michigan, how are you thinking about how do we have the narrative that links up the justice to the economics? >> again, you are giving me all the easy questions. [laughter] >> that's a tough question. i think, again, we have to go back to the broad vision that randolph had. you know, and for him, you know, the issue of -- it was completely interconnected, and the issue of exclusion of black workers from the defense industry was both a racial justice issue and an economic
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justice issue. you couldn't separate them. i think many of -- as i said before, many of the struggles that we're facing today are connected to the economic inequalities that we're seeing, are connected to the disempowerment of the american public in many ways. i mean, again to go a little bit off the central topic, i mean with president obama's recent attempt to get gun control legislation, you have the majority of the public in support of some type of reform, and yet it doesn't pass, and that's, unfortunately, connected to, again, some things that congressman ellison talked about, the influence of money and lobbyists in politics so we have a real crisis in our democracy right now, and, you
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know, one of the important contravailing forces is labor. unfortunately, that's why labor is under attack; right? we really need to do more to broaden a host of issues, a host of organizations. i mean, traditional civil rights organizations, but it's also crucial that we figure out how to strengthen and expand labor because as the march on washington movement shows, many other progressive movements are connected to the labor movement, so that's part of the struggle. we need to build movements at the grassroots, and particularly, i would say the labor movement because the crisis that is broadly shored now is the economic crisis, but also a lot of the civil rights struggles are connected to the
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labor struggles and to the growing economic inequality we see in the country today. >> absolutely. >> this question i'm going to pose to the both of you. if you had -- there could be several, but if you had one economic policy that you would propose that we move to give an opportunity to young people of color so that they could have hope for their economic future, what would that be? >> you go first. [laughter] >> oh, i have to choose only one? that's -- >> i can give you two. [laughter] >> no, but i'm going to go back to the full employment; right? because, you know, it -- it, i think the outlook of young people today would be so different if they knew that when they finished high school or
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finished college, they could get a good job. if you ask them what they wanted, i think that would be certainly, if not number one, certainly in the top three of their concerns. you know, and, unfortunately, if you're looking at young people of color, young african-americans and latinos, in particular, when they are faced with high levels of unemployment, that increases the likelihood that they may get involved or end tangled with the criminal justice system. making sure that those people have a job will have positive effects in a -- in a multitude of ways. >> i agree completely. [laughter] >> he made it easy for me. [laughter] i think full employment solves the problems. in terms of mostly, we think about the people still in our
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prisons, nonviolent drug offenses of people trying to patch together a liveing through means that are sometimes legal and employment is the key, i argue. >> i would have to agree with that. [laughter] a future of employment. >> and living wages. >> and living wages. >> and union protection. >> and i have going to say they have to have the right to have the voice at work, add that in there, would help guarantee it. i think we're going to probably be running out of time, but this is a question i'd like to pose to the two of you. just in looking historically we talked about a. phillip randolph, and i'm reminded, he, in fact, was able to meet with five presidents, eisenhower, roosevelt, kennedy, and johnson,
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and so i asked the two of you if he was alive today and able to meet with president barack obama, what do you think that conversation would be like? [laughter] >> i'll let you go first. [laughter] >> that's fair. that's fair. [laughter] i mean, i think first of all, we, you know, we'd have to recognize that an a. phillip randolph met with president obama was not because he wanted coffee and conversation. when he met with u.s. presidents, he was coming to ask and demand something. be cog any -- cognizant of that. i imagine he would say something in the effect in his baritone voice that the only time that the u.s. presidency hack an effective ally for those
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struggling for whatever goal they struggle for is when there is pressure. first, he'd congratulate him. i'll do you a favor and make it easy for you to help go through the american jobs act, and so tomorrow, don't be surprised when you see me at a press conference announcing that we're going to stage a march on washington with executive action taken, and good day to you, sir. [laughter] [applause] how about that; rights? that's my guess. [laughter] and say hello to michelle. [laughter] >> i agree completely. [laughter] you know, for him, he said, look, looking out in 196 p #, i
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see 6 million black and white people unemployed and millions more in poverty. today, there's 12 million people of all races unemployed and millions more in poverty. he would think there's a lot of work to be done, and like it was said, he recognizes you have to put pressure on the administration to get motion, but i think he would not focus on congress. it's obama; right? congress proposed the american job act, but there's tremendous opposition in congress, so i think he mobilizes to put pressure on -- to lift the issue of jobs and to try to get congress people to pay attention to working people. >> thank you. >> i guess in thinking about that, would president obama say to him, make me do it?
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as another president said to randolph. i think we don't have much time. we wanted to have an opportunity with one or two questions, but i don't know that we have that time yet, christian, but if you tell me we have a second or at least a minute or two, we're going to have some very fortunate perp be able to pose a question to the panelists. >> we don't have a microphone, so if you could just repeat it? >> okay, i will. no burning questions? not comments, just questions. yes? the young man here. >>. id to ask, do you think the federal government is still capable of being responsive? you know, could it happen? ..
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>> at this moment is the vehicle for the or kinds of changes that we might be envisioning and imagining, and i really do come back to fact that we're back where people were in montgomery in 1955 where you have to figure out you have to fight where you're standing, and whether that's in kansas, new york state, michigan, what have you, i think we have to begin to build and dig where we stand. that's the best i can do.
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>> yeah, i agree. right now we have a highly dysfunctional democracy, but we still as individuals, as voters, we still do have power. i think it's, the issue is a matter of mobilizeing to put pressure on the places where our democracy is stuck. so i think there needs to be more organizing, more consciousness raising to address the problems that make it difficult for our democracy to function. properly. but i think it's possible but, yes, it's quite difficult. >> there was an impossibility for the civil rights act in 1964 without, first, fair employment laws in various states where people were able to get them passed, and i think that that's the key. >> i think that this is going to wrap up our panel, and i would
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just say thank you so much, professor lang, thank you so much, algernon, for being a part of this. i think it's been a rich discussion. it's a discussion that must continue among all of us. we understand that the march is not finished. there is still so much work for us to do if we're going to ultimately have the kind of freedom and shared prosperity for all of americans. let us commit ourselves to finishing the march. thank you so much. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you so much, arlene and clarence and algernon. as they exit, i would like to invite the panelists and moderator for our second panel addressing the crisis facing
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people of color to, please, join us on the stage where we will get you mic'ed up. and as you saw from the first panel, there is, indeed, much that went into the march on washington and much that the march is about that is often misremembered. and be it does a disservice to people who made contributions that will never be given their just due in mainstream history textbooks. but thankfully, we have got researchers and analysts who will not relate us forget so -- let us forget so that we can derive inspiration and our way to deal with the modern challenges through the work that has been done by people in the past. let me introduce our second panel. we are privileged to have addressing this topic the current economic crisis facing people of color a distinguished panel of people representing, well, all hues of the human mosaic. our moderator is jacqueline peta
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who is the executive director of the national congress of american indians. she herself is a member of the tribe and has been to washington for a little while now. she worked in the clinton administration in the department of housing and be urban dom as deputy assistant secretary for native american programs. she has expense tensive -- extensive experience on lots of boards, and i view her as a trusted partner in the fight for making sure the economy works well for everyone and no one is forgotten. we are so thankful she could join us as moderator for this panel. we have mark hugo lopez be to my far left who is the newly-installed, as of last thursday, director of the pew his panic center, so we can give mark a public round of applause. [applause] mark's extensive research studies the attitudes and the opinions of latinos and their views of identity and political
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engagement, and mark oversees and directs the pew's aual national survey of latinos which i know is an incredibly valuable tool for all of us as we try to incorporate the latino community into a lot of our work. next to mark is mr. william spragues who is the chief economist here at the afl-cio, and bill comes to the afl-cio after a stint in the department of labor as the assistant secretary, excuse me, in the office of policy. bill is also a professor in and a former chair of the department of economics at howard university. bill, welcome. >> thank you. >> next to bill is ms. lisa -- [inaudible] who is the executive director of the national coalition for asian and pacific-american community development. lisa has led their efforts to be
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a voice for the community development needs of the low income asian-american and pacific islander community since 2000. before that lisa was the community liaison for the white house initiative on asian-americans and pacific islanders, and they have an outstanding report on low income asian-american and pacific islanders which, hopefully, you saw at the literature table when you came in. and then we -- oh, that's everybody. [laughter] so without further ado, i'm going to turn it over to jacqueline to get this second panel started off right. thank you. >> thank you so much. [applause] so as he said, our panel is about unfinished march, the panel focused on the economy. and there isn't anybody in this room or, actually, anybody on this panel who probably couldn't, you know, recite the data, demographics of the communities that you come from, the impact of the current
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economic crisis to your community and, certainly, the need for economic justice from the communities that we move forward. so i wanted to be able to make sure that this panel that we talk not only about what the, you know, the economic crisis really is within our communities, but really about how we march forward, that the focus and the message should really be about moving forward. and, in fact, i want to just reflect that, you know, about 16 days after the martha we're all here to talk about, bobby kennedy actually came to the national congress of american indians, a little known fact, probably, in this room. [laughter] that's why i wanted to use this moment to tell it to you. and he made a statement that said he noted the ironny that native people have been denied equal opportunity in the greatest free country in the world. and then he quoted chief joseph of the necessary pierce tribe
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who said, made the statement in 1877, and he said whenever the white man treats the indian as he treats his own kind, then we will have no more wars. and i actually think that statement, although we probably wouldn't use those same words today, is the thought behind it is reality. the harsh reality that from access to equal education to financial services to affordable housing, um, all of those things create real barriers to our economic abilities of our communities today. so today we're going to join by the right panel of the right folks here with bill and mark lopez and lisa, we're going to have that conversation. so, lisa, i want to start with you. and i want to present anytime a way because -- present it in a way because i'm hoping what we get out of this is we're all thinking about messaging moving forward. messaging moving forward.
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and so i want to say if you were contacted by a journalist and a the journalist said how would you describe the current crisis for our collective community, what would that look like, and what would you say? >> always an easy question. [laughter] well, i've been actually thinking about in -- this a lot because as our emcee said, we have in the report coming out. so let me see if i can take a stab at it. i think i would frame it as a broader economic justice framework that, and a conversation there's a moment, i think, for conversation about the intersections between race and class. because i think one other thing, i think, that's very interesting is the number of immigrants that are here in this country today who were not here in as many numbers in the '60s, right? or even before in the '40s. and so i think i would frame it in terms of an opportunity for a common cause, and, you know, the
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asian-americans and pacific islanders will not be used as a wedge community because i think that oftentimes when it comes to framing a lot of issues related to income inequalities, asian-americans and pacific islanders are lumped all together as asians/other. [laughter] we talk about this all the time, and we track with whites, or we're doing better than whites. and that's the narrative over and over and over again, that national capacity focused on low income asian-americans and pacific islanders and those who are in poverty and those who are the most economically vulnerable, we really try to flip the script, right? and say not necessarily in comparison, it's not this race to the bottom, but really i think there's a broader common cause and that all people of color and all of society really need to focus on economic inequalities that are impacting all of us. and so i think that that would be my broader frame because i would assume if they're talking
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to me, they're probably thinking that i'm going to talk about, you know, the market potential of the immigrant community or, you know, something like that. and i would want to kind of poke at that a little bit, because that stereotype of the model minority, i think, is still very present, and i get that sort of assumption when i talk to a lot of reporters. and so immediately i think that my task in talking to reporters is to break that down fast and quick and really talk about, um, the two million -- i talk now often about the two million asian-americans and pacific islanders that are living under the poverty level and the fact that that population has grown by 40% in the wake of the economic crisis. and i talk about the fact that as a community, including all the rich, wealthy asian-american founders of yahoo!, etc., in our community we talk about the tact that as an asian-american and pacific islander community, we've lost 50% of our wealth. so i think those are all things in the ati community should be
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concerned about and should feel that we have common cause with other communities of color and low income commitments. >> okay, so, mark, if you want to make sure the story's really told straight, what would you add? >> well, i'd add story of the latino community or what's been happening in the last few years, and i think there's a number of points to the story that are quite interesting. on the one hand, we see more latinos living in poverty than ever, particularly more latino children living in poverty than ever. we also saw curl re-- during the recession the unemployment rate for latinos was the first to rise quickly. and when it comes to household wealth, latinos lost a lot of household wealth during the recession particularly because of where they bought homes, that was a part of the story. >> right. >> but broadly speaking, a lot of economic impacts of the recession on the latino community. after several years of gains, particularly when it comes to unemployment, latinos really are closing the unemployment gap with nonlatinos at least through
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2006. another side of the story which is when you talk to latinos and you ask them questions about the future and what they see for the future, there's a lot of optimism among hispanics about their own personal economic futures despite how bad things are right now, that things will get better, and particularly that things can be better for their children in the future. and that's where i think there's some really interesting things, as you mentioned, looking forward what to do. so far the last few years particularly after the recession, we've seen a real surge in college enrollments, and many hispanic adults will tell you education is a very important issue to them. when you ask young latinos what do you need to be successful in life, many will say it's a college degree. so as we're looking forward, i think we see for latino adults a belief that the future will be better for their children, but also a real belief as well that it's important to have a college education to be successful. so looking forward, i think there's a lot of optimism and potential with the latino community, but that story's
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still being written. we respect done yet, a lot still to be done. there are still disparities to be addressed and to be studied and explored. but nonetheless, we see in our surveys a sense of optimism about the future, particularly around the importance of education. >> okay, great. so, you know, once again going back to this story that we're messaging, but i really think that not only do we take on snapshots like what is it like right now, i think it's important for us to figure out what policies, what were the impacts and why did we get here and, of course, bill, i'm going to give you the tough question. what was the situation or the circumstances that actually led, you know, america the free to be able to come to this place right now that we're at? what do you -- do you have any thoughts that you'd like to share about that? >> well, we've had a couple of policy change in terms of the sea change and how do we do policy, what do we do policy for. right after the great depression everyone was convinced the worst thing that could have ever
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happened, so after world war ii -- and we saw employment go up because of the war -- everyone was afraid that after the war and the industrial power that had to be brought to fore to win the war that we would go straight back to depression. so congress had a debate in 945 and pass -- 1945 and passed an act in 1946 to make it the policy of the united states government to seek employment. now, in 1945 it was supposed to be full employment, and they actually in 1945 talked about guaranteeing that an american had a right to a job. by 1946 it was we're not going to guarantee a job, but the policy is employment. and over time we moved until in 1976 and facing more unemployment yet again we had the congressional black caucus and congressman hawkins and then
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teaming with senator humphries from minnesota a debate about full employment, and then you see whether it's full employment, there's price stability, there's fair trade, there's balanced government. i mean, we add in these different policy tools. employment stopped being the center focus. in fact, today if you look back at 1963 and a complaint about unemployment, they were very upset because the unemployment rate had gotten to 6%. this is horrible. the world is going to end. and the march was about full employment with this reference back to a view that even 6% is not tolerable, that we need to get the number lower. and, of course, today we would declare this as victory. and so part of it is discussion, part of it is public discussion, part of it is as how we view employment as being central to what people have to have, the access to a job. we don't talk about it in the same way. we have congress and the president debating about
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deficits and, oh, the world is going to end because of deficits. they're not debating that the world is going to end because of the lack of employment despite the fact that for young people in the united states, those under 24, this is the worst labor market in the history of the whole united states. there's never been be in any -- been in any period this difficulty for people who are young, black, white, yellow, anything, to get a job. typically, you know, just finished with high school graduation, 18 and 19-year-olds economic history somewhere around 50, 55% would be employed. they're suffering below 40%. and they've been suffering below 40% for over four years. fewer than 40% of those 18-19-year-olds hold a job. that's not sustainable for our country. and it doesn't get much better as we look at those who are going to, you know, add to the
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population finishing college and finishing community college. they are still suffering from record low employment opportunities taking us all the way back to the 1960s when we know many women wouldn't have been in the labor force in that age group. so the fact that we don't have a national conversation about this, the fact that the media doesn't beat up on congress and on the president and tell them, shame on you that you're debating about the federal deficit 40 years from now. this is what they're arguing about. what will the deficit look like in 2050? okay, but today the deficit is for young people to have a job. today the deficit is that we don't have public infrastructure that works. today is deficit is that we are still down in public employment. and, again, that change in
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conversation. national defense education act passed after sputnik was launched. the response in less than a year was for the be federal government to step this and promote adding enough teachers to keep the baby boomers from having super crowded classrooms. we lost over 300,000 teachers in this downturn. are the congress or president arguing about where we're going to get the 300,000 teachers in order to keep our classroom sizes the same for this generation? no. they're arguing about how much they're going to raise the interest rates to charge the students to get a degree in the first place. so this misplaced conversation, this misplaced priority, that's the problem that we're tasting right now. and -- facing right now. and in 1963 i think they would be astounded that we let the unemployment rate get to this level and let the conversation about the need for employment and the need for investment in our young people and the need for investment in our infrastructure get so lost because we're worrying about
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2050 and whether rich people have to pay taxes and and act like adults and pay the tax rates of those in 1963. and act like adults and understand that as american citizens -- [applause] >> thank you. thank you. so, mark, you get to come to this conversation that bill has put on the table and, obviously, when you're coming to this conversation, you need to bring suggestions. and so bill's pretty -- he did a great job laying it out. so what are some of your suggestions? >> well, i certainly think that looking forward to the next few decades, and this is particularly for the latino commitment, it's really -- community, it's really an importance of education and preparing people for the market. and we see that both in terms of public opinion among latinos, how important that is, but also just looking at what's happening in terms of enrollment trends and completion of high school among latinos. there have been some
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improvements. so i think that the future for latinos could be bright, but it depends on many different things. about what to do? it's hard to make a recommendation partly because of the pew research center, and we're nonpartisan and nonadvocacy. but certainly, certainly many latinos point to the value of a college education and the need to get that college education. how that happens, there's a number of ways that can happen. it could be everything from loans to students to help them get to school, it could be offering or providing more opportunities to get to college by building more colleges and universities. there's a number of different ways that this can happen. but for latinos certainly education is going to be an important part of that future story. >> lisa? >> i think that, you know, i feel like, um, you know, representing one of the organizations here that's an institution who are heads of these national organizations, i really feel like the
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infrastructure and the organizational infrastructure that we have right now representing people of color at the national level and the number of economists and researchers and technological tools that we have, i was very inspired by the first panel in terms of the history lesson of, you know, the march on washington 50 years and even that it started in the '40s. and my touch point there was that was when my parents or grandparents were internment camps. i'm thinking executive order 9066, the one that interred the japanese-americans. i think that history lesson is very important be, and i feel like there's -- you know, and i struggle today knowing my own history but still learning more and more at every moment about, you know, what the large number of immigrants, newer immigrants and refugees who have come to this country who still have -- you know, i wish i could download this american history into everyone's brain somehow,
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we could put it in the water or something, it'd be really great. i think that would be so much, it would be, it's so important, right? to be able to figure out, like, how these institutions really are able to move forward like really knowing our histories. and be so i think that in terms of the organizational infrastructure, i was preparing for your question about, you know, in 50 years -- >> i'm getting there. >> okay. [laughter] but i really feel like there's not this sense of a collective cause, of this, you know, sort of a people's movement. and i think that it's much more complicated today because there are wealthier asians, african-americans, latinos in positions of power whether they with be in the corporate sector, in government, etc. and so the sort of consciousness and identity as a people with a common cause whether it's multiracial, whether it's -- race is still very important. it's not not important. but figuring out what that frame is that we can all really, like, you know, get behind, um, i
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think has been really still a challenge, you know? so i think, you know, that's also part of the solution, trying to figure out, you know, what sorts of ways in this which we come together -- in which we come together, coalitions. because we have a lot more power. we have a lot more power, and we have a lot more access than we ever did before too. so what is that there? something there. >> and that's what motivated me was, like, bill's, you know, plea to have this conversation. i just felt like he's absolutely right. we need to have this conversation. but then going to your statement which was be we're thinking about -- if we're thinking about, you know, we're reflecting on this and want to reflect on this 50 years from now, you know, what changes would we have made? what policy recommendations would we have made? where do we take this leap forward so we aren't just cycling back to the same conversation over and over again? so, bill, do you want to give us some ideas of what -- on the table in. >> i think your question is exactly right.
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we're still too defensive. we want to declare victory from 1963, and we still defend that as opposed to take on the challenge ourselves and say, okay, that was good, it was done, what is the logical step and what have we learned? so i think there are a number of things we should have learned. while an outcome of the 1963 march was the establishment of the equal employment opportunity commission as we heard from opening panel, it wasn't enough. we know we haven't made many advances. i mean, what people need to think about in the trayvon martin case is understand what that jury was saying about young black men. so once you really understand what they're saying about young black men, do you really have to ask why do young black men have hard time getting a job? >> uh-huh. [applause] >> and so in the african-american community, yes,
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education is important be, but we understand there's a lot more going on than whether we're educated or not. and since 196be 3 and the civil rights act, black educational achievement has gone through the roof. it's a level of education that they couldn't even have dreamed about in 1963. and yet our unemployment rate is worse. our poverty rate is about the same. so that's not -- it's necessary, but it clearly is not the only solution. and so we have to figure out ways to improve on that. we have the anomaly in the asian-american community that actually they have an inverse relationship with their unemployment rate versus whites. so they seem to do well when they have less education, but the moment they get a college degree, the unemployment rate jumps for young asian-americans. it goes the opposite direction. and they have the longest duration of unemployment, even longer than african-americans. it's bifurcated. it's both for highly educated asian-americans and lowest
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educated asian-americans. so it's much more complicated -- >> but we're seeing lots of gaps. >> yes. >> we're seeing a lot of gaps. if those gaps don't get addressed in future policies as we go forward, they just create a degenerative arthritis greater divide. >> yes, and so we have to be far more effective on what we do with equal employment, but we have to be committed to the public sector, and we have to understand this downturn that we just had. we insured wall street, we said wall street cannot fail. there are banks too big to fail. this down turn was the biggest decline in revenue for state and local government ever, and it was prolonged. and the length and the depth of it has resulted in lower public employment, and there is no clear path that it will come back. yet we know we still need teachers, we still would like to have police on the beat, we still would like to have
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firefighters, we still want to have all the public services. our demand for public services can't depend on the business cycle. the federal government just doesn't realize, said, well, you have to have the investment sector, you have to have a public sector. prison so when we have these downturns, the federal government must step in to control the revenue stream for state and local government. the problem detroit faced is that -- >> local and tribal government. >> and tribal governments. [laughter] the problem that people forget about detroit, unlike many municipalities that depend on revenue from real estate tax, their government runs on income taxes. they never recovered from 2001. the black unemployment rate never recovered from 2001. that downturn decimated the
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revenue stream for that city, and it never came back. if there are banks that are too big to fail and we have to step in to make sure that they function be, there are cities that are too big to fail. [applause] >> we just saw -- [inaudible] one of those cities. >> yes. and it's not enough for the administration to say, oh, we're behind you, detroit. no. we said to wall street $800 billion we're behind you, so that's being behind me. [laughter] >> okay. mark -- [inaudible] that's behind you. what would be some of those policies? >> so wall street caused more damage than what we have put into the budget. there needs to be a financial transaction tax, because when they -- [applause] we lose. and they have to pay for